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Teenage Drivers in Southern California Mimicking Parents' Driving Habits

December 31, 1969

A recent survey from Liberty Mutual and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) concluded that teens are most likely to copy what their parents are doing behind the wheel.

The problem with that is that parents aren't typically setting the safest examples for these learning drivers. According to the Claims Journal, most teens feel that their parents are following a completely different set of driving rules.
The study sought out the opinions of more than 1,500 teenage drivers around the country and got their outlook on dangerous and irresponsible driving habits. The study concluded that most parents were likely to text, make phone calls, not wear a seat belt, speed, and even drink and drive -- with their teen in the vehicle!

Our Los Angeles car accident lawyers understand that teenagers are like sponges. This is the time when they're soaking in their surroundings and they're creating lifelong driving habits. In these cases, parents are the most influential people in these young driver's lives. What parents are doing behind the wheel -- teens are mimicking. This is exactly why parents and other adults need to be on their best behavior when there's a teen present in the vehicle. Remember -- our young drivers are always watching. They're taking notes, too. Be on your best behavior at all times!

What do teens see parents do behind the wheel?

-About 90 percent of teens see parents talk on a phone regularly while driving.

-More than 85 percent see parents exceeding the speed limit.

-Nearly 60 percent watch their parents text message while driving.

-Close to half of parents aren't wearing a seat belt.

-About 10 percent of teens have seen their parents drive under the influence of alcohol.

-One out of every five parents have driven under the influence of alcohol in front of their teen.

But why do parents continue to set such bad examples?

It's the "do as I say, not as I do" theory. This means that parents think that they can instruct their teens how to drive and which rules to follow, but they don't have to follow them, too. The truth of the matter is that everyone in your household needs to be following the same driving rules. Make sure everyone is aware of the state's road laws and the state's Graduated Driver's License (GDL) laws.

The best teacher for a young and learning driver is a good role model. Since parents spend the most time with their teen drivers, it's important that they're always setting a safe example. Car accidents continue to be the number one cause of death for young drivers throughout the country.

In the state of California, there were close to 400 young people who were killed in traffic accidents in 2010. Reducing these risks and cutting back on these numbers is easily done, we just need help from parents and guardians!

If your or your teen driver has been injured in a car crash, contact HOWARD LAW P.C. for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case. Call (800) 872-5925.

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