Teen driving habits start with you
January is Teen Driver Awareness Month
“Have kids!” They said. “It’ll be fun!” They said.
“They” were right. Well, just up to the point you begrudgingly climb into the passenger side of your own car and your child slides into the driver seat all smiles and nervous laughs. With a look of confusion, they search for a place to put the keys. Suddenly questions start running through your mind: “Have I been a good driver?” or “What about the example I’ve set?” and “Can my nerves handle this?”
The good news is the answer is yes, to all three (believe it or not).
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, parental driving habits are the #1 influence on new driver behaviors. In a 2023 survey conducted by State Farm of 1,000 teen driver parents, 94% agreed that their driving behavior was the most important influence on how their teens learn to drive. However, 35% of those surveyed admitted to using their phone while driving.
The inexperience of teens behind the wheel makes them more susceptible to distracted driving crashes. The fact is that the #1 cause of death and injury for teens are vehicle crashes. What is the best thing you can do? Set a good example by keeping your phone tucked away, hands on the wheel, and eyes on the road.
However, distracted driving and phones aren’t they only things causing crashes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teen drivers are 17 times more likely to die in a crash when they drive under the influence. Nearly 75% of survey respondents stated they have regular discussions about the dangers of driving under the influenced with their teen. Discussing tactics on withstanding peer pressure and safe ways to get home (such as calling a parent or using a rideshare service) can save their lives, the lives of their passengers, and the lives of other drivers on the road.
Don’t fret though, you are not alone in your quest of influencing your teen driver with good driving behaviors. At State Farm, we offer the Steer Clear Safe Driver Program. This program provides up to a 20% discount on major coverages for drivers aged 16 to 25 when the program is completed. The program covers topics like focus and distraction, and residential, city, and highway driving. It also covers special driving situations like rural roads, driving at night, and driving in bad weather to help your teen gain knowledge to keep them safe.
In the end, teaching to drive is a rite of passage that parents and guardians of teens go through. Nonetheless, it is something to take pride in knowing you are adding one more safe, responsible driver to the road for everyone’s peace of mind.
So go ahead, have those kids, it will be fun – even the (safe) driving part.
For over 100 years, the mission of State Farm has been to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected and realize their dreams. State Farm and its affiliates are the largest providers of auto and home insurance in the United States. Its more than 19,400 agents and 67,000 employees serve over 91 million policies and accounts – including auto, fire, life, health, commercial policies and financial services accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is also available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 44 on the 2023 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com.