Teen Driver Safety

Submitted by Ron Haskell, State Farm Teen drivers were recently asked what would stop them from texting while driving. Their No. 1 answer: Concerns about crashing.

In observance of National Teen Driver Safety Week, State Farm® has released survey results of drivers ages 16-19. The focus was to learn more about teens’ attitudes and behaviors when it comes to distracted driving.

Concerns about crashing (51 percent) was followed closely by getting caught by police (50 percent). Other common responses included:

  • Arriving safely at my destination (33 percent)
  • Knowing someone who has caused a crash while texting (23 percent)
  • Reading stories about crashes caused by texting (17 percent)
  • Getting caught by parents (13 percent)
  • Being encouraged by friends to drive safely (10 percent)
  • Establishing parent/teen safe driving contracts (6 percent)
The survey revealed nearly all teens, more than 90 percent, say they understand texting while driving is distracting, yet 44 percent say they do it anyway.

New teen drivers, because they are more vulnerable to crashes, should focus attention on driving. Yet using their phones isn’t the only distraction teen drivers said they must contend with when they’re behind the wheel.

Besides texting, teens reported these activities could potentially divert their attention from the road:

  • Talking with a passenger (94 percent)
  • Listening to navigation system/GPS (79 percent)
  • Searching for music (73 percent)
  • Accessing the Internet on their phone (36 percent)
  • Reading social media (29 percent)
  • Taking pictures with their phones (27 percent)
“As nearly all teenage drivers now own smartphones, we must continue our work to understand and address the wide array of distractions that young people face,” says Strategic Resources Director Chris Mullen. “This survey shows us some of the perceptions that influence distracted driving behavior for teens, reinforcing the need for consideration of the best educational, technological, and legislative solutions, and continued parental support to help curb these types of behaviors among teens.”

Driving situations also play an important role in teen drivers’ decisions to participate in phone-related distracted driving behaviors:

  • Sixty-seven percent of teen drivers who use their phone while driving reported that being stopped at a red light makes them more likely to use their phone compared to when the vehicle is in motion.
  • Three-quarters of teens said they were less likely to use their cellphone when adult passengers were in their vehicle compared to 58 percent who were less likely to use their phone when other teens were present.
  • At least two-thirds of teen drivers reported being “a lot less likely” to use their phone when driving in poor weather conditions such as rain, fog, snow or ice.
To learn more, visit State Farm insurance agent Ron Haskell at www.ronhaskell.com or call 864-226-6043.