Teens See Faults With Parents’ Driving: RBC Insurance Poll

December 14, 2012

Although confident in their driving abilities, many Canadian parents still have serious concerns when their teens get behind the wheel. According to a recent RBC Insurance survey, nine-in-10 parents rate their teens as fairly good drivers, despite the fact that 79 percent admit their teenagers engage in some form of driver distraction.

“It’s great to see that Canadian parents have confidence in their teens’ driving abilities,” said Natalie Dupuis, senior product manager, auto, RBC Insurance. “With the winter driving season upon us, accidents are much more prevalent and it’s critical that everyone, especially new drivers who have less experience, keep their full attention on the road.”

Parents polled by RBC Insurance say that their teen’s biggest driving distraction is the radio or music (25 percent), followed by having friends in the car (21 percent) and talking to passengers (14 percent). Five percent admit their teen is distracted by texting and two per cent say their children are making phone calls while driving.

Ruling the road: Moms versus Dads

When it comes to teens’ perception of their parents’ driving habits, almost half (47 percent) rate their father as an extremely good driver, whereas only 29 percent would give their mother this credit. This, despite the fact that almost four-in-10 (38 percent) say that the most common fault with their dad’s driving is speeding or driving too aggressively. In comparison, only six percent say their mom’s most common fault is driving too aggressively and 11 percent say it’s speeding. In fact, 16 percent believe their moms drive too slowly and don’t know their directions when driving.

However, teaching a teen to drive may improve the parent’s driving habits – 84 percent of parents agree that teaching their teen to drive has gotten them thinking about their own driving habits. The study also found that formal driving lessons are becoming less prevalent, as 35 percent of parents say they learned from an instructor only, compared to 16 percent of the teens interviewed.

Surprisingly, parents say that the most common fault with their teens’ driving is not knowing their route/direction (20 percent), while being distracted was a close second at 15 percent. Other common faults parents mentioned include:

  • being too aggressive (12 percent)
  • speeding (12 percent)
  • not knowing the rules of the road (9 percent)
  • driving too slowly (8 percent)

Although 15 percent of teens admit to having had at least one accident, the survey found generally good driving behavior among this segment of the population. The majority of teens, both young men and women, claim they have not had any parking tickets (90 percent), speeding tickets (92 percent) and/or accidents (85 percent).

Source: RBC Insurance

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