The month of June starts one of the more worrisome months for parents of teenagers and for the auto insurers who insure those families. How worrisome? Very. In fact, it’s uppermost on the minds of the Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) and Liberty Mutual.
The two organizations combined to sponsor a study of teen driving and found a startling, but not all that surprising, fact. Teenagers drive like their parents. And their parents are often not very good drivers and have bad driving habits like using their smartphone while driving for all kinds of things like talking, texting and checking email.
SADD’s Gene Beresin put it in perspective, “Parents are not great role models. As a matter of fact, they’re pretty poor role models for teenage driving.” And this is especially important when you remember that distracted driving now accounts for 25% of all car crashes. That’s one in four.
The SADD-Liberty Mutual survey checked in with 2,500 teens and 1,000 parents and found:
• 55% of parents use applications when driving
• 62% admit to using their phone to take calls while behind the wheel
• 50% admit to calling their teenagers when they know the teen is driving
• And 33% — if the call is missed — expect a response from the child before they arrive at their destination
And the kids? A whopping 33% say they’ve asked their parents to stop that behavior while driving. Beresin said, “The good news is this sets the stage for a conversation between parents and teenagers.
The report also offers some suggestions to parents to help prevent fatal car crashes:
• Don’t let teenagers drive when they are tired
• Why? 10% of teens admit to falling asleep behind the wheel because they’re tired
• The study asks parents to instruct their kids to call for a ride or take a cab when they’re tired
• Set up a distinctive ring tone or text tone for emergency calls from the parent so they can ignore all other calls.
• Tell teenagers to program the two biggest driving distractors navigation and music before the trip starts
Beresin said, “Program a playlist ahead of time. If the phone is within reach and you hear or see a notification, you’re going to be very tempted to either look down or pick it up. And the bottom line is you don’t need to.”
Another study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) looks at the cars that are most likely to be involved in fatal collisions for teens and their parents this summer.
And for winter, spring or fall, too, for that matter.
Minicars and small cars have the most potential for a fatal collision because they don’t have the protective bulk of larger vehicles. Four door minicars are the most dangerous and four-wheel drive large luxury SUVs had the lowest number of fatalities.
The two most dangerous minicars — according to the number of fatalities recorded — are the Hyundai Accent and the Kia Rio. The Accent is first and had 104 deaths per million vehicles registered.
The 11 with zero driver deaths from 2012 to 2015 are:
• Volkswagen Tiguan
• Toyota Tacoma Double Cab
• Mazda CX-9
• Audi A6
• Audi Q7
• Jeep Cherokee
• Mercedes Benz M-Class
• BMW 535 i/is
• BMW 535xi
• Lexus RX350
• Lexus CT 200
David Zuby of IIHS told Forbes magazine, “Vehicles continue to improve, performing better and better in crash tests. The latest driver death rates show there is a limit to how much these changes can accomplish without other kinds of efforts.”
Source links: Insurance Business America — link 1, link 2