CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A new poll released today by the Property Casualty Insurers Association
of America (PCI) highlights the need for more parents to discuss the
greatest dangers young drivers may be facing – distracted driving, lack
of seat belt use, speeding, impaired driving and extra passengers.
Because parents play such an important role in influencing their teens’
decision making while driving, PCI asked parents what driving risks they
have discussed with their children. The survey found that most parents
had talked with their kids about using seat belts all/most of the time
(65%) and texting while driving (56%). However, only about half of
parents have discussed speeding (50%), talking on a cell phone while
driving (47%) or driving under the influence of alcohol (46%), and even
less have touched on subjects such as using social media while driving
(42%), driving under the influence of marijuana (32%) or talking with
passengers while driving (16%). The online survey of over 1,000 U.S.
parents was conducted in September 2016 by Harris Poll on behalf of PCI.
“Parents need to take the time to talk with their kids about the many
dangers of driving,” said Bob Passmore, assistant vice president of
policy development and research for PCI. “Over the past two years the
roadways have become much more dangerous. Data from the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration shows that motor vehicle crashes, the
leading cause of deaths for teenagers in the U.S., jumped more than 10
percent since 2014. Parents need to set a good example and educate their
loved ones to put the phone down and pay attention to the road.”
The survey found that nearly all parents who currently drive said they
set a good example for their children by avoiding driving while
distracted (90%) and parents were more likely to say they wear seat
belts all or most of the time (77%) than non-parents (71%). But parents
were more likely than non-parents to say they engage in activities that
cause distractions such as talking on a cell phone while driving (24%
vs. 18%, respectively) or eating while driving (27% vs. 17%,
“Communicating the dangers of distracted driving is particularly
important because teenagers are especially vulnerable to these
accidents,” said Passmore. “According to the AAA Foundation, the 15- to
19-year-old age group has the largest proportion of distracted drivers.
Teens are distracted almost a quarter of the time they’re behind the
wheel and they are four times more likely than adults to get into
crashes or near-crashes when talking or texting on a smartphone.”
The survey also found that there is widespread agreement among an
overwhelming number of parents that texting (98%), talking on a cell
phone (87%), using social media (98%) or driving under the influence of
drugs (98%) or alcohol (99%) are dangerous activities for someone to do
while driving. “These are some of the primary reasons why traffic
accidents, fatalities and injuries are increasing—and why we’re starting
to see the byproduct of these trends: rising insurance costs,” said
Passmore. “Simple modifications to driver behavior can have a big impact
on these alarming accident statistics, make our roads safer and keep
costs down for consumers.”
During National Teen Driver Safety Week October 16-22, PCI encourages
parents to reinforce five necessary rules that teen drivers need to
follow to stay safe behind the wheel in a car, truck, or SUV and to talk
to their teen driver about the rules of the road.
REMEMBER THE “5 to Drive”:
1. No Drinking and Driving.
Set a good example by not driving after drinking. Remind your teen that
drinking before the age of 21 is illegal, and alcohol and driving should
never mix, no matter your age.
2. Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time. Everyone—Front Seat and
Lead by example. If you wear your seat belt every time you’re in the
car, your teen is more likely to follow suit. Remind your teen that it’s
important to buckle up on every trip, every time, no matter what (both
in the front and back seats).
3. Eyes on the Road, Hands on the Wheel. All the Time.
Remind your teen about the dangers of texting, dialing, or using mobile
apps while driving. Have them make their phone off-limits when they are
on the road. But distracted driving isn’t limited to phone use. Other
passengers, audio and climate controls in the vehicle, and eating or
drinking while driving, are all examples of dangerous distractions for
4. Stop Speeding Before It Stops You.
Speeding is a critical issue for all drivers, especially teens. Do not
exceed the speed limit and require your teen to do the same. Explain
that every time your speed doubles, your stopping distance quadruples.
5. No More Than One Passenger at Any Time.
With each passenger in the vehicle, your teen’s risk of a fatal crash
goes up. Check your State’s GDL law before your teen takes to the road;
it may prohibit any passengers in vehicles with teen drivers.
PCI is composed of nearly 1,000 member companies, representing the
broadest cross section of insurers of any national trade association.
PCI members write more than $183 billion in annual premium, 35 percent
of the nation’s property casualty insurance. Member companies write 42
percent of the U.S. automobile insurance market, 27 percent of the
homeowners market, 32 percent of the commercial property and liability
market and 34 percent of the private workers compensation market.
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll
on behalf of Property Casualty Insurers Association of America from
September 20-22, 2016 among 1,075 U.S. adults ages 18 and older who are
parents. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and
therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please
contact Jeffrey Brewer.