Study shows teens learn risky driving behaviors from parents

A recent survey suggests that teens are learning bad driving behaviors from their parents.

Teen drivers are notorious for dangerous driving. Fatal motor vehicle accidents tend to be higher for teenagers than for other age groups and, as the Chicago Tribune reports, car crashes are the leading cause of death for American teenagers. However, a new study from Liberty Mutual Insurance suggests that teens alone are probably not to blame for their bad habits. Rather, as CNBC reports, the study shows that the way parents drive has a huge effect on the way their sons and daughters drive.

Parent and teen drivers compared

The study surveyed 2,000 teen drivers and 1,000 parents in April and May of this year about their driving habits. The results showed that dangerous driving behaviors were distressingly common among both teens and parents.

For example, 38 percent of teen drivers say they have used apps while driving, while almost the exact same number - 37 percent - of parents said that they too had used apps while driving. Of teens, 15 percent said they had taken selfies while driving, while 14 percent of parents had done the same. Both teens and parents had the same rate of marijuana use while driving, at nine percent, and the same rate of drunken driving, at eight percent.

Learning from their parents

The fact that teens and their parents have such similar rates of dangerous driving suggests that many dangerous driving behaviors are in fact learned from parents. Indeed, in many cases, parents will tell their child one thing, but then do the complete opposite.

For example, most parents warn their teens not to text and drive behind the wheel. However, most parents then expect their teens to respond to their texts even when they know their teens are driving. Indeed, responding to a parent was the main reason teens used their phones when driving, at 47 percent. Furthermore, 37 percent of parents said they do not enforce punishments when their teenage child breaks a driving rule.

The study also found that parents themselves are probably exaggerating about how good their driving actually is. While 20 percent of parents admitted that they text and drove, when teens were asked if their parents text and drove then that figure jumped to 30 percent.

Personal injury law

Anybody who has been injured in an accident should know that help is available. A personal injury attorney can assist accident victims during their recovery process. In some cases, financial compensation may be available for victims, especially if the crash was caused by another driver's negligence. An attorney can advise clients about what compensation may be available and how to go about filing a claim.