Teen Safe Driving Research

To better understand parents' knowledge of the teen driving issue and to help parents prepare their teen for driving, The Allstate Foundation recently conducted a national survey of 2,093 teen drivers, ages 15 to 19, and parents of teen drivers, ages 15 to 19. Here is a sample of the findings:

Parents don’t know the No.1 killer of teens is parked outside their house.

o   Parents are the No. 1 source of information for teens when it comes to learning to drive. 

o   However, more than 40 percent of parent’s don’t know that car crashes are the number No.1 killer of teens.

Parents don’t understand the most deadly risks to their teen driver. They tend to focus on certain behaviors such as seat belt use, which is appropriate, but doesn’t protect their teen from crashing. 

o   Research shows that inexperience is the No. 1 cause of teen crashes, but 74 percent of parents falsely believe that risk-taking and distractions, such as texting, is the leading cause.

o   Despite the fact that nine in 10 parents say it’s very important for teens to learn to manage night driving and driving with passengers, one in three parents admits they have not adequately covered these items with their teen.

o   Nearly 30 percent of parents are not setting rules around some the most dangerous behaviors including:  nighttime driving, passengers in the car, and many don’t require their teen to get permission before driving somewhere.


Parents regret not spending more time teaching their teen to driving and wish that they had exposed their teen to more high risk situations.  Oddly enough, teens express similar feelings and want more time behind the wheel with their parents in these situations.

o   More than two-thirds (67 percent) of parents said if they had to do it over, they would expose their teens to higher risk driving situations.

o   Nearly half (48 percent) of parents wish they had spent more time monitoring their teen’s driving experience after they got their license.

o   More than half (54 percent) of parents wish they spent more time driving with their teen prior to licensure.

o   More than half of teens (55 percent) say they wish their parent spent more time teaching them to drive, especially in dangerous conditions.


Parents are looking for resources to help coach their teen to be a safer, better driver.

o   64 percent of parents are actively looking for resources to help manage their teens driving experience.

Reported results are from a national representative online survey of 2,093 teen drivers, ages 15 to 19, and parents of teen drivers, ages 15 to 19.  The survey was conducted between Dec. 19, 2012 and Jan. 18, 2013. A minimum of 1,000 surveys were completed for each population. A total sample size of 1,000 yields a margin of error of +/-3% at a 95% confidence level.