State Farm issues tips for Teen Driver Awareness Month

Teen Driver Awareness Month - Teen in car with car keys

This January, the insurer is reminding parents that setting a good example can make a difference.

State Farm is honoring January as Teen Driver Awareness Month by reminding parents that setting a good example can make a difference to their teen’s driving habits and yes, they will get through this.

Parental driving habits are the top influence on the behaviors of new young drivers.

Teen Driver Awareness Month data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that the driving habits of a young driver’s parents are the top influence on their behaviors behind the wheel.

Teen Driver Awareness Month - Teen in car with parent

State Farm conducted a survey this year, involving the participation of 1,000 parents of young drivers. Among them, 94 percent said that their own driving behavior was the top influence on the way their teenagers learn to drive. That said, among those surveyed, 35 percent admitted that they use their phones while they drive.

While teenagers may have a solid knowledge of the rules of the road and great reaction time, they lack experience behind the wheel. This, said State Farm, opens them up to distracted driving crashes. It helps to explain why the top cause of injury and death for teenagers is crashes in vehicles.

Therefore, according to State Farm the best thing parents can do to make sure their teenagers are safe behind the wheel is to set a good example. This includes keeping hands on the wheel, eyes on the road, and phones tucked away and unused until the vehicle is no longer operational.

State Farm made additional recommendations for parents during Teen Driver Awareness Month.

Distracted driving and phone use are only some of the major causes of crashes for teenage drivers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that teenagers have a likelihood of death in a crash that is 17 times higher when they get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol.

Among the State Farm survey respondents, almost 75 percent said that they have regular talks with their teenagers about how dangerous it is to drive while under the influence. Teen Driver Awareness Month spotlights the importance of talking about strategies for overcoming peer pressure and knowing safe ways to get home (such as using a rideshare service or calling a parent). These discussions can save the lives of the drivers, their passengers, and other road users.

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