NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Teens Are Riskier Drivers Than Parents Think

May 25, 2000

Parents have a rosier picture of their teen offspring's driving habits than is warranted, according to a new survey by insurer Liberty Mutual Group and Students Against Destructive Decisions/Students Against Driving Drunk.

  • While 93 percent of parents believe their teen-age children buckle their seat belts whenever they drive, 39 percent of teen drivers confess they do not wear seat belts.
  • Some 46 percent of parents said their teens never speed, but 77 percent of the kids admit they do.
  • While 92 percent of parents are under the impression their teens do not drink and drive, 21 percent say they do.
  • In addition, 40 percent of the young respondents say they have ridden with a teen driver who was impaired or intoxicated.

The study comes on the eve of school graduation season and the start of summer -- traditionally the most dangerous times for teen motorists.

More than 5,700 youngsters ages 16 to 20 were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 1998, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Source: Reuters, "Teen Drivers Not as Safe as Parents Think, Study Finds," Washington Times, May 25, 2000.


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