FINDINGS

The 2017 Family Safe Driving Report surveyed 1,183 U.S. teen drivers ages 14-18(1) and 1,500 parents of teen drivers ages 14-18(2) to compare distracted driving behavior and sentiment among parents and teen drivers. The survey found that risky driving behavior seems to run in the family, and parents share some of the blame in teen distracted driving, as their driving habits may not be setting the best example for teen drivers.

Whether it’s texting or calling when their teen is driving behind the wheel or personally engaging in risky driving behavior, such as speeding, while their teen was a passenger, nearly one in four teens (23 percent) don’t believe their parents driving habits set a good example for them to follow, and another 23 percent of teens are unsure.

Other findings from the 2017 Family Safe Driving Report show:

 

Teens and parents agree texting is the biggest distraction to teen drivers.

  • While parents and teens disagree about what’s more worrisome and dangerous -- driving distracted versus driving drunk -- they do agree that texting or cell phone use is the biggest distraction to teen drivers. Nearly three out of four parents (73 percent) believe that texting or cell phone use poses the biggest distraction for their teen driver, and more than half (55 percent) of all teens admit that cell phone is the biggest driving distraction they personally face.

 

Parents worry more about their teens driving distracted versus driving drunk.

  • Seventy-four percent of parents admit they worry more about their teen driving distracted than driving drunk. However, while distracted driving is the biggest worry among parents -- and claimed 3,477 lives in 2015 -- less than one in four teens (21 percent) believe that driving distracted is more dangerous than driving drunk. Additionally, almost one in three teens (31 percent) admitted they had or knew someone who lost a friend or loved one due to distracted driving.

 

While teens and parents agree that texting while driving is the biggest distraction facing teen drivers, parents, not teens, admit to more phone use while driving.

  • Sixty-three percent of parents admit to checking a mobile application, texting or taking a phone call while driving, compared to less than one in three teens (30 percent) who admit to phone use while driving.

 

Parents are distracting their teens while they drive.

  • One in four parents of teens (24 percent) admitted to texting or calling their teen while they knew their teen was driving, and nearly half of all teens (44 percent) admitted they’ve received a call or text from a parent while they were driving.

 

Teens aren’t entirely convinced that their parents driving habits set a good safe driving example for them to follow.

  • In addition to “fessing up” to phone use while driving, more than half of parents (55 percent) also admitted to driving over the speed limit while their teen was in the car with them, one of the leading causes of car accidents. However, despite this behavior, the majority of parents (62 percent) believe their personal driving habits set a good example for their teen driver. On this, 23 percent of teens disagree and 23 percent are unsure that their parents driving habits set a good example of safe driving.

 

Teens may differ from their parents in their opinions about safe driving. However, teens are in favor of full transparency and would allow their parents to monitor their driving.

  • Unsurprisingly, the majority of teens would prefer that their parents monitor their driving behaviors (57 percent) versus their online search history (16 percent). In fact, 50 percent of teens would be willing to let their parents monitor their driving habits (through a mobile app or built-in car technology) if they knew it would help save money on car insurance. Furthermore, 23 percent of parents already use mobile technology or applications to monitor their teen's driving habits, and 34 percent -- who admitted they don’t currently use technology to monitor their teen’s driving -- would like to start using technology to monitor their teens driving.


 

PARENT FINDINGS

 

SCREENER: Are you currently the parent or guardian of a child age 14-18 who has their driver’s license or permit?

  • Only those who answered, “Yes, I currently have a child age 14-18 who has a driver’s license or permit” moved on to answer the survey questions.


QUESTION 1: Among the following options, which is your biggest worry as a parent/guardian for your teen? (Parents were allowed to choose more than one option)‚Äč

 

QUESTION FINDINGS

  • When asked to review a multiple choice list of top concerns for their teens’ safety, 60% of parents identified “getting into a car accident” as one of their top concerns. In addition, from the multiple choice list of top concerns for their teens’ safety:
    • 43% identified “alcohol, smoking or illegal substance” as one of their top concerns
    • 28% identified “sexual activity” as one of their top concerns
    • 19% identified “poor academic performance” as one of their top concerns

 

QUESTION 2: Do you worry more about your teen driving drunk or driving distracted (i.e. texting while driving)?

 

I worry more about my teen driving distracted

74.47%

I worry more about my teen driving drunk

18.87%

I don’t know

6.67%

 

QUESTION FINDINGS

  • Almost 8 out of 10 parents or guardians (74%) admit they worry more about their teen driving distracted than driving drunk.

 

QUESTION 3: When it comes to distracted driving, which of the following options do you believe poses the biggest distraction for your teen driver?

 

Interacting with other passengers in the car (including you as the parent)

10.87%

Texting or using a cell phone

73.33%

Changing the radio/music

6.40%

Avoiding other drivers

6.13%

I don’t know

3.27%

 

QUESTION FINDINGS

  • Three in four parents or guardians (73%) believe texting or cell phone use poses the biggest distraction to their teen driver.

  • Just one out of 10 parents or guardians (11%) believes interacting with other passengers in the car, including themselves, poses the biggest distraction for their teen driver. (see how teens responded in Question 2 of their survey).


QUESTION 4: Have you ever texted or called your teen while you knew they were driving?

 

Yes

24.33%

No

68.07%

I don’t know

7.60%

 

QUESTION FINDINGS

  • One in four parents or guardians (24%) admit to texting or calling their teen while they knew their teen was driving.


QUESTION 5: Have you ever driven over the speed limit while your teen was riding in the car with you?

 

Yes

55.00%

No

40.67%

I don’t know

4.33%

 

QUESTION FINDINGS

  • Over half of all parents or guardians (55%) admit they’ve driven over the speed limit while their teen was riding in the car with them. (see how teens responded in Question 5 of their survey)

 

QUESTION 6: Which of the following driving habits below do you think your teen engages in the most?

 

Speeding over the speed limit or accelerating quickly

15.67%

Making hard stops or braking suddenly

14.73%

Using their phone while driving

32.67%

Making hard left or right turns

6.33%

Interacting with passengers in their car

19.93%

I don’t know

10.67%

 

QUESTION FINDINGS

  • When it comes to their teens driving habits, one in three parents or guardians (33%) believe their teens are most likely uses their phone while driving over interacting with passengers in their car (20%), speeding or accelerating quickly (16%), making hard stops or braking suddenly (15%) or making hard turns (6%). (See how teens responded in Question 5 of their survey)

 

QUESTION 7: Have you ever personally used a mobile device (i.e. checked a mobile app, texted or taken a phone call) while driving?

 

Yes

63.33%

No

33.87%

I don’t know

2.80%

 

QUESTION FINDINGS

  • Six in 10 parents or guardians admit to personally using a mobile device to check an application, text or make a call while driving. (See how teens answered in Question 6 of their survey)


QUESTION 8: Have you ever personally used a mobile device (i.e. checked a mobile app, texted or taken a phone call) while driving your teen?

 

Yes

50.80%

No

45.73%

I don’t know

3.47%

 

QUESTION FINDINGS

  • Half of all parents or guardians (51%) admit to using a mobile device while driving their teen.

 

QUESTION 9: Do you believe your personal driving habits set a good example for your teen driver to follow?

 

Yes

61.67%

No

30.47%

I don’t know

3.47%

 

QUESTION FINDINGS

  • Almost one in three parents or guardians (30%) don’t believe their personal driving habits set a good example for their teen to follow. (See how teens answered in Question 7 of their survey)

 

QUESTION 10: Have you or a parent/guardian you know lost a teen due to distracted driving?

 

Yes

26.80%

No

68.20%

I don’t know

5.00%

 

QUESTION FINDINGS

  • One in four parents or guardians (27%) have lost or know another parent or guardian who has lost a teen due to distracted driving. (see how teens responded in Question 10 of their survey)

 

QUESTION 11: Do you use mobile technology or applications to monitor your child’s driving habits?

 

Yes, I use mobile technology / applications to monitor my teen’s driving

23.27%

No, I do not use mobile technology or applications to monitor my teen’s driving

38.87%

No, I do not use mobile technology or applications to monitor my teen’s driving but I would like to

34.07%

I don’t know

3.80%

 

QUESTION FINDINGS

  • While the majority of parents or guardians (39%) do not use mobile technology or applications to monitor their teen’s driving, one in three parents or guardians (34%) would like to.

 

 


 

TEEN FINDINGS

 

SCREENER: Are you currently 14-18 years old and have a driver's license or permit?

  • Only those who answered, “Yes, I am currently 14-18 years old and have a driver’s license or permit” moved on to answer the survey questions.

 

QUESTION 1: Which of the following do you think is more dangerous: driving drunk or driving distracted (i.e. texting while behind the wheel)?

 

I think driving distracted is more dangerous

21.22%

I think driving drunk is more dangerous

57.31%

I don’t know

21.47%

 

QUESTION FINDINGS

  • Six in 10 teen drivers (57%) believe that driving drunk is more dangerous than driving distracted.

 

QUESTION 2: When it comes to distracted driving, which of the following do you believe poses the biggest distraction to you personally?

 

Interacting with other passengers in the car (including my parent/guardian in the front seat)

11.33%

Texting or using a cell phone

55.20%

Changing the radio/music

9.38%

Avoiding other drivers

6.85%

I don’t know

17.24%

 

QUESTION FINDINGS

  • When it comes to distracted driving, half of all teen drivers (55%) believe that texting or using a cell phone is the biggest distraction they personally face. Additionally, one in 10 teen drivers (11%) admitted that interacting with passengers in their car, including their parents or guardian in the front seat, posed the biggest distraction while driving.

 

QUESTION 3: Has your parent/guardian ever texted or called you while you were driving?

 

Yes

43.87%

No

42.69%

I don’t know

13.44%

 

QUESTION FINDINGS

  • The majority of teen drivers (44%) admitted their parent or guardian had texted or called them while they were driving.

 

QUESTION 4: Has your parent/guardian ever driven over the speed limit while you were in the car?

 

Yes

46.49%

No

37.02%

I don’t know

16.48%

 

QUESTION FINDINGS

  • Nearly half of teen drivers (46%) admit their parent or guardian has driven over the speed limit while they were riding in the car.

 

QUESTION 5: Which of the following driving habits do you admit doing most often when driving?

 

Speeding over the speed limit or accelerating quickly

16.48%

Making hard stops or braking suddenly

13.69%

Using their phone while driving

9.89%

Making hard left or right turns

10.31%

Interacting with passengers in their car

20.54%

I don’t know

29.08%

 

QUESTION FINDINGS

  • While the majority of teens (29%) admit they’re unsure of the driving habits they commit most often, the two top driving habits they admit doing most often are interacting with passengers in their car (21%) and speeding or accelerating quickly (16%).

 

QUESTION 6: Have you ever personally used a mobile device (i.e. checked a mobile app, texted or taken a phone call) while driving?

 

Yes

29.92%

No

56.04%

I don’t know

14.03%

 

QUESTION FINDINGS

  • Less than one in three teens (30%) admit to using a mobile device to check an application, text or take a call while driving

 

QUESTION 7: Do you believe your parents’ driving habits set a good example for you to follow?

 

Yes

54.10%

No

23.42%

I don’t know

22.49%

 

QUESTION FINDINGS

  • One in four teens (23 percent) don’t believe their parents driving habits set a good example for them to follow, and another 23 percent of teens are unsure.

 

QUESTION 8: Have you ever confronted a friend about driving over the speed limit or using their phone while they were driving?

 

Yes, I have confronted a friend about speeding or using their phone while driving

54.02%

No, I have never confronted a friend about speeding or using their phone while driving

45.98%

 

QUESTION FINDINGS

  • Half of teens (54%) have confronted a friend about driving over the speed limit or using their phone while they were driving.

 

QUESTION 9: Have you ever been confronted by a friend about driving over the speed limit or using your phone while you were driving?

 

Yes, I have been confronted by a friend about speeding or using my phone while I was driving

27.98%

No, I have never been confronted by a friend about speeding or using my phone while I was driving

72.02%

 

QUESTION FINDINGS

  • One in four teens (28%) admitted they’ve been confronted by a friend for speeding over the speed limit while they were driving.

 

QUESTION 10: Have you or someone you know lost a friend or loved one due to distracted driving (ie using phone while driving)?

 

Yes

30.52%

No

48.10%

I don’t know

21.39%

 

  • One in three teens (31%) have lost or know someone who lost a friend or loved one due to distracted driving.

 

QUESTION 11: Would you rather your parents monitor your driving habits or your online search history?

 

I would rather my parents monitor my driving habits

57.06%

I would rather my parents monitor my online search history

15.81%

I don’t know

27.13%

 

QUESTION FINDINGS

  • Six in 10 teens (57%) would prefer their parents to monitor their driving habits over their online search history.

 

QUESTION 12: Would you let your parents monitor your driving habits (through a mobile application or built-in car technology) if you knew it would save money on your car insurance?

 

Yes

50.21%

No

13.36%

I don’t care

19.53%

I don’t know

16.91%

 

QUESTION FINDINGS

  • Half of teens (50%) would let their parents monitor their driving habits (through a mobile application or built-in car technology) if it would save money on their car insurance.

 

REPORT METHODOLOGY

(1) EverQuote commissioned a Pollfish survey of US online consumers about driving habits. The survey was shown to 56,880 people age 14-17 and 18-24 with 1,183 completed surveys from the target demographic (14-18 year olds with a driver's license or permit), a 2.07% response rate. The survey was aligned with US Census Bureau for age and gender of the United States to be representative of the population. EverQuote was the sole investor in the survey. The survey period was June 6, 2017 – July 6, 2017.

(2) EverQuote commissioned a Pollfish survey of US online consumers about driving habits. The survey was shown to 8,337 parents age 30+ with 1,500 responses, a 17.99% response rate. The survey was aligned with US Census Bureau for age and gender of the United States to be representative of the population. EverQuote was the sole investor in the survey. The survey period was June 2, 2017 – July 7, 2017.

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