NewsOperation Safe Roads


Bad teen driving habits? They may get it from watching mom and dad

Posted at 4:49 PM, Oct 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-24 19:49:54-04

Ernie Salazar sees it while at work at his own company, Deer Valley Driving School. Unfortunately, the teens he's teaching see it too.  

"We've all stopped and seen everybody at the intersection looking at their phones," said Salazar. "These adults are their role models."

Salazar said kids have an irresistible itch to pick up the phones. And according to a study, they come by it honestly.

"We really have to work with our sons and daughters to put those phones away, turn them off, and try to get from point A to point B without using them to be as safe as possible," Salazar said.

Research by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions showed teens who engage in risky business behind the wheel, most likely learned it from their parents. And according to AAA, it's something kids notice at an early age.

"They have been observing you for many, many years as they approach that driving age," said Michelle Donati from AAA. "They are still monitoring you."

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among 16 to 19-year-olds than among any other age group. In fact, per mile driven, 16 to 19-year-olds are nearly three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash.

"So if you were to look at your own driving habits and say am I ok with my teen doing this behind the wheel, that's really a good way to evaluate your own driving skills to see if there's anything you might need to start working to change," Donati said.

So when it comes to behaving badly behind the wheel, no one can say they got it from you.