SADD: Parents Not Setting the Right Example

One of the easiest ways to get through to teens about dangerous driving habits is to lead by example. According to new survey, many parents are dropping the ball despite research from Students Against Destructive Decisions that indicates parents are the No. 1 influence on teen behavior.

SADD and Liberty Mutual Insurance polled more than 1,700 11th- and 12th-graders throughout the country, and the results of the survey illustrate a "do as I say, not as I do" mentality:

  • 66% of teens said their parents follow different rules behind the wheel than they set for their children.
  • 88% said their parents speed.
  • 91 % reported that their parents talk on their phones while driving.
  • 59% of their parents text while driving.
  • 47% of their parents occasionally drive without wearing a seat belt.
"These findings highlight the need for parents to realize how their teens perceive their actions. Kids are always observing the decisions parents make behind the wheel and may see unsafe driving as acceptable," Dave Melton, a driving safety expert with Liberty Mutual Insurance and its managing director of global safety, said in a statement.

Since it's National Teen Driver Safety Week, Liberty and SADD encourage parents and teens to talk about safe driving habits and sign a contract, so the expectations are clear on both sides of the conversation. Click here to download one.

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By Jennifer Geiger | October 19, 2012 | Comments (4)



SADD, MADD, whatever the new acronym is today. Either way each is a waste of money and useless.

Matt C.

My parents always said, "Do as I say, not as I do!" and "When you pay the bills you can do what ever you please."


Yeah, when I was learning how to drive, my dad was one of those parents that was a horrible example as far as driving. He would do 85 on the freeeway and expect me to do 55 on the freeway, and if I said anything about it all I would hear is "i have been driving for over 20 years blah blah blah you don't have enough experience blah blah blah". Fun years.


My dad owns an S4 and speeds at 110 between policemen. He takes cloverleafs at 60, and is quite agressive. He also sometimes looks at email behind the wheel.

I never go beyond 15 MPH above the limit, and usually stay slower than others, let everyone through, and slow down for corners and stuff. I am afraid of looking at the clock because I would not be looking at the road.

That is all because I use this thing called logic and common sense.

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