Who’s to Blame for Bad Teen Driving?

A new study says teens get their driving habits from parents. But the survey only interviewed the teens.

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We recently wrote that teen drivers are hypocrites – they tell others not to text and drive, but do it themselves. A new study says parents are to blame for their kids’ reckless driving habits.

Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions surveyed 1,700 high school juniors and seniors and found just as many parents talk on their phones and drive as teens do – 91 and 90 percent, respectively. (Grain of salt: This is according to the teens.)

But other behaviors don’t track quite so closely. On texting, for instance, the study found 78 percent of teens reported doing it, but only 59 percent said they saw their parents text and drive. Likewise, more teens admitted to speeding (94 percent) than claimed they caught their parents doing it (88 percent).

Teens also reported that their parents were more likely to ignore seat belts (47 percent versus 33 percent) and drive drunk (20 to 15).

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