Survey reveals that teens take parent's advice on driving
parents across the country are busy preparing
a summertime homecoming for their college-age
kids, many of whom will be making a lengthy road
trip home from campus. Exactly how concerned should
parents be about their teens on the road?
to an online survey of teen drivers sponsored
by Bridgestone, the answer depends on
parents' involvement in ensuring their children
are safe drivers. Evidence (once again) that harping
doesn't hurt (no mention of the annoyance factor,
What the survey revealed is that most teen drivers
(63 percent) credit their parents as the source
most responsible for teaching them driving skills.
(Thankfully, just 4 percent of teens say they
learned to drive from their friends.) Parents
take note: you're in a unique position to encourage
teens to practice safe driving habits. Maybe even
more so than you thought.
According to survey results, one of the simplest
safety behaviors in vehicles, namely wearing a
seatbelt, seems to be indicative of other safe
behaviors in teen driving. In fact, 19 percent
of teen drivers who said they always wear their
seatbelts also reported having been in an accident
or receiving a moving violation. (That incidence
rate jumped to 55 percent for those teens who
only "occasionally" wear their seatbelts.)
As the National Highway Transportation Safety
Administration attributes the recent drop in highway
fatalities to seatbelt usage, this simple safety
behavior is essential to keep teens safe on the
roads this summer.
a given that many teens will be driving with friends
(no doubt headed to warm, summer night parties and
swim clubs), so it makes sense that the survey also
questioned respondents on their peers' driving habits.
As it turns out - the older the teen (and the more
driving-experienced) - the more they said their
peers are not very safe drivers. More than half
(54 percent) of 19-year-olds surveyed felt that
teens are generally not safe drivers, compared with
35 percent of 16-year-olds who felt the same way.
Overall, the surveyed teens said they feel very
well-educated about driving safety and regulations.
But one area about which teens feel overwhelmingly
ill-informed relates to proper car maintenance.
Ninety-nine percent of all teens surveyed said they
feel well informed about driver safety, and 98 percent
feel well informed about traffic laws.
However, when it comes to properly maintaining a vehicle, only 23 percent feel very well informed.
Survey fast facts:
Younger teens and those with learner's permits are more likely to practice safe driving habits than those who are older.
More than half (54 percent) of 19-year-olds surveyed felt their peers were not safe drivers. Ninety-six percent of 16-year-old drivers said they always wear their seatbelts, compared to 88 percent of 18-year-old drivers.
Of the teens who "always" wear their seatbelts, 19 percent have been in an accident or received a moving violation.
Of the teens who "occasionally" wear their seatbelts, 55 percent have been in an accident or received a moving violation.
Older teens (18- and 19-year-olds) were more likely than younger teens (16- and 17 year-olds) to drive over the speed limit, drive while talking on a cell phone, drive with other passengers in the vehicle and drive while drowsy.
The data cited in this release is based on the findings of an online survey among 800 teen drivers nationwide, conducted on behalf of Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC (BFNT) by Charlton Research Company. Eligible participants were 16 to 19 years old with a valid driver's license or learner's permit. The survey was conducted July 22-28, 2005.
About Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC:
Nashville-based Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC (BFNT) is a subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc., whose parent company, Bridgestone Corporation, is the world's largest tire and rubber company. BFNT develops, manufactures and markets Bridgestone, Firestone and associate and private brand tires. The company is focused on wholesale and original equipment markets, supplying passenger, light truck, commercial vehicle, off-road, motorcycle, agricultural and other tires to its customers in North America.