Teens and Cars: A Dangerous Mix?

We asked parents how they feel about their teen behind the wheel. Here, the results of our poll.
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What most worries moms who have teen drivers? We wanted to know. So we polled hundreds of you in an online survey on LHJ.com.

Three factors worry moms most about their teen drivers. "The inexperience of teen drivers" (68 percent) topped the list of worries; in second place was "driving while distracted" (66 percent); and, in third, "other bad drivers on the road" (65 percent).

Meanwhile, half of respondents said they wished their son or daughter took driving more seriously, but 48 percent also said their teen "completely understands" the responsibility of driving. Thirty-nine percent described their teen as "still learning" to drive, but with "good instincts," and 56 percent say their teen is "cautious, responsible and experienced." Only 5 percent worry enough to call their teens "reckless and inexperienced."

Moms are uneven in their assessment of whether their teens can handle potholes, slick spots, and other literal bumps in the road. Sixty-five percent said they are "sometimes confident" their teen can handle most driving situations; only 32 percent went as far as "very confident."

Other results from our survey:

  • 25 percent of parents polled have a teen who was at the wheel in a car crash.
  • 12 percent have a teen who has been in a car crash involving a vehicle driven by another teen.
  • 22 percent have a child whose teenage friend was killed in a car crash involving other teens.
  • 16 percent have a teen who has gotten a speeding ticket.
  • Two percent of teens have gotten a ticket for running a red light, their parents said.
  • Two percent have teens who have been arrested or cited for drunk driving.
  • 34 percent of mothers have taken away or limited their teen's driving as a means of punishment.
  • 53 percent of those parents took away driving privileges once every six months, usually for general disrespect and bad behavior (33 percent) or breaking curfew (27 percent).

Would you like to take our poll on teen driving? Your answers will be tallied and updated in our final results.

 

 

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