Parents share blame in distracted teen driving, according to EverQuote

In addition to “fessing up” to phone use while driving, 55% of parents also admit to driving over the speed limit while their teen was in the car with them. (Photo: Shutterstock) The fundamental question of nature versus nurture has been hotly contested throughout history. For some teens looking to explain their driving behavior, they directly link their parents’ behavior to theirs. According to EverQuote’s 2017 Family Safe Driving Report, 23% of teens don’t believe their parents driving habits set a good example for them to follow, and another 23% of teens are unsure. 24% of parents admitted to texting or calling their teen while they knew their teen was driving, and 44% of teens admit they’ve received a call or text from a parent while they were driving. The survey, which compares distracted driving behavior and sentiment among 1,183 U.S. teens ages 14-18 and 1,500 parents of teens ages 14-18, showcases the divide between parents and teens over what is more dangerous while driving. Related: Are we safe drivers? Apparently not… Top concerns for parents For parents, the idea of their teen driving distracted poses a greater risk than driving drunk. Seventy-three percent (73%) of parents believe that cell phone use poses the biggest distraction for their teen driver, yet parents admit to more use while driving. Sixty-three percent (63%) of parents admit to checking a mobile application, texting or taking a phone call while driving compared to 30% of teens who admit to using a phone while driving. Sixty percent (60%) of parents identified “getting into a car accident” as one of their top concerns; 43% identified “alcohol, smoking or illegal substance”; 28% identified “sexual activity.” Related: Teen drivers seen as more reckless with age as fear abates Teens’ opinions differ from parents While distracted driving is the biggest worry among parents (74%), less than 21% of teens believe that distracted driving is more dangerous than driving drunk. Almost one in three teens admit they had or knew someone who lost a friend or loved one due to distracted, however. The majority of teens (57%) would prefer that their parents monitor their driving behaviors versus their online search history; 50% of teens would be willing to let their parents monitor their driving habits — through a mobile app or built-in car technology — if they knew it would help save money on car insurance. Despite their differences in opinion, parents and teens can work to keep each other in check going forward. “Our goal in conducting this survey is to not only expose key issues facing today’s teen drivers, but also to empower parents and teens to have conversations on safer driving habits,” said Seth Birnbaum, CEO of EverQuote, “…and we believe that educating both parents and teens on how to monitor and improve driving habits is an important contribution to curbing these tragedies.” Related: Washington state moves to outlaw distracted driving


About John Fagan

John is a Jacksonville native who grew up on the First Coast. He graduated from Bishop Kenny High School in 1975 and went to college at Florida State University where he completed a 4-year program in 3 years. John graduated from the Florida State University College of Business in 1978 and went straight into Florida State University College of Law. While in law school, John earned a position on the prestigious Law Review Board serving as its Business Editor. As a law student, John studied in the Oxford program. He also interned with the Florida Legislature working in the Florida House of Representatives Criminal Justice Committee. John was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1981. John began his legal career as a law school intern in the State Attorney's Office in Jacksonville in 1981. After his internship, legendary State Attorney Ed Austin hired John as a full-time Assistant State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit (Clay, Duval, and Nassau Counties). As a prosecutor, John tried jury and non-jury trial on charges ranging from DUI to Murder. In 1983, John moved from the State Attorney's Office to begin his career in private practice. He has practiced law for 30 years on the First Coast. For the last 20 years, John and his family have made Clay County their home. John limits his practice to personal injury and disability cases. While there are many fine attorneys in Clay County, John is one of only a few Clay County attorneys who limit their practice to personal injury and disability cases. John takes pride in helping clients resolve injury claims in ways that avoid the stress, uncertainty, and the expense of unnecessary litigation. Professional Activities John is the past President of the Clay County Bar Association and has served on the Board of the Clay County Bar Association from 2009-2013. He is an active member of the Florida Bar, and the Federal Bar of the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida. He is also a member of the American Association of Justice, the Florida Association of Justice, the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives, and the National Organization of Veterans' Advocates. Service to the Community John is involved in the Clay County Community serving as a member and Director of the Rotary Club of Orange Park, of the Clay County Bar Association, and the Putnam County Bar Association.
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