News Releases - General Info
Written by Missy Lundberg   
Monday, 17 October 2011 14:58
61 percent of teens say parents have been distracted at least once by their phone while on practice drives together; 53 percent of parents even admit to the mishap
Oct. 17, 2011: While government, law enforcement, industry and consumer groups have joined forces to spread the word about the dangers of distracted driving, apparently this call isn’t getting through to some parents as they teach their teens to drive.
In a survey released today by State Farm, 61 percent of teens say that their parents have been distracted by their cell phone or other electronic device at least once while they are in the car teaching them to drive.  For some, the practice happens more frequently.  29 percent of teens say their parents have been distracted while teaching them to drive either “sometimes, often or all the time.”
53 percent of parents likewise admit they’ve been distracted while their teen is driving at least once.  Some parents also admit to being distracted more frequently.  17 percent of parents say they have been distracted while teaching their teen to drive either “sometimes, often or all the time.”
Teens say parents using a phone behind the wheel is nothing new – that it’s been happening for years.  In the survey, 54 percent of teens say they’ve seen parents using a phone while driving either “sometimes, often or all the time.”  43 percent of parents admit they’ve modeled cell phone use while driving in front of their teens either “sometimes, often or all the time.”
In July, State Farm and the research company Synovate surveyed 517 pairs of new teen drivers and their parents to gather their perspectives on the learning to drive experience in their own families.
“These results are troublesome on multiple levels,” said Laurette Stiles, Vice President – Strategic Resources at State Farm. “Parents should know that how they handle themselves behind the wheel creates a powerful example for their teens – for better or worse.  During practice drives, parents should be alert at all times to coach teens and serve as a second set of eyes.  Being distracted even once while teaching not only sends the wrong message, it creates real dangers for those inside and outside the vehicle.”
Time Crunch
The survey also indicates that some teens and their parents admit they’d like to spend more time behind the wheel learning to drive.
In the survey, 24 percent of parents felt they weren’t spending enough time behind the wheel with their teen learning to drive.  30 percent of teens surveyed felt they weren’t spending enough time learning to drive.
Step-By-Step Guidance
To help teen drivers and their parents, State Farm this week is making available the first-of-its-kind, academically-based interactive teen driver training tool equipping parents to be more engaged in teaching their teens to drive.  The new tool is called Road Trips™ and is free to the public.  Road Trips is the most recent result of the State Farm $20 million investment in teen driver safety.
Road Trips is available along with other safe driving resources at
About The Survey
In July, 2011 State Farm commissioned the research firm Synovate to conduct a survey to better understand teens’ and parents’ perceptions of how the learning-to-drive process is going in their families.  Online interviewing was conducted among 517 parent/teen dyads.  The research group consisted of parents/guardians who have taught their teen to drive, and teens ages 15-17 who currently have their driver’s license or permit. This study with 517 representative respondents has a +/- 4.3 percent margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level. Both parents/guardians and teens were asked to rate the parent’s/guardians ability and preparedness to teach driving, the amount of time spent, and frequency of using a cell phone or electronic device while driving and while teaching driving.
About State Farm®
State Farm insures more cars and homes than any other insurer in the U.S., is the leading insurer of watercraft and is also a leading insurer in Canada. Our 17,800 agents and more than 65,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts - more than 78 million auto, fire, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 1.8 million bank accounts. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 37 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit or in Canada
# # #
blog comments powered by Disqus

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
You must be logged in to post a comment. Please register if you do not have an account yet.