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Many Parents Don’t Know What Their Teen Drivers Are Doing

Graduated drivers license programs exist to prevent teen driving accidents by slowly giving young people more privileges and more responsibilities behind the wheel. Graduated driving license laws, however, work only when they are enforced and when teens obey them. Law enforcement cannot be everywhere at all times, so parents are usually in the best position to make sure their young teen drivers are following the letter of the law and making smart driving decisions. traffic-lights-1227798-m.jpg

Unfortunately, recent studies have shown that parents may not really be aware of what their kids are doing. There are major disconnects in parental attitudes towards graduated driving license restrictions and teen views on these restrictions, and teens are obeying the law way less often than their parents think they are. Our Boston car accident lawyers know that this means many young people are in danger and many parents need to take a different approach that provides more protection for their kids and other motorists on the road.

Parents and Teens Views On Teen Driving Laws

To learn more about parents and teens attitudes towards graduated licensing and other driving laws, State Farm interviewed 500 teen drivers between the ages of 14 and 17. The insurance company also interviewed 500 parents of young drivers within this age group.

As CBS Boston reports, the study found that 70 percent of parents thought their kids were following graduated licensing laws and abiding by restrictions on the number of passengers that could be in the car with a new driver. The reality however, is that just 43 percent of teenagers said that they were following the law.

Teens and parents also had differing views on nighttime restrictions and even on whether parents actually were monitoring the number of passengers in the car with the teen. A total of 66 percent of parents said they kept track of whether their kids were obeying nighttime driving restrictions while just 32 percent of teens said their parents monitored night driving and enforced the rules.

This discrepancy was very similar to the responses on the issue of passenger limitations. Twenty-seven percent of surveyed teens said their parents normally track the number of teen passengers in the car to ensure the graduated licensing rules are being followed. A total of 65 percent of all parents surveyed said that they monitored for this issue, which means that either many teens are unaware their parents are monitoring them or that many parents are unaware that they aren’t actually being very effective at enforcing the rules.

The outcome of the study makes an important point to parents, reminding them of the need to be actively engaged in supervising young drivers. The director of technology research for State Farm offered some advice for parents on Boston CBS Local, advising that communication is key and that teens who were closely supervised by their parents were half as likely to become involved in a car accident.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident in the Boston area, contact Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 1-877-617-5333.

More Blog Entries:
Teens Avoiding GDL Program Facing Higher Risks for Boston Accidents, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, August 15, 2013