Friday, January 17, 2014

Travelers Survey Shows Parents' Good Driving Behavior Decreases Likelihood of Teen Accidents

From:  The Wall Street Journal

Travelers (NYSE: TRV) today released the results of its Parent/Teen Safe Driving Survey, which reveal that teens who feel their parents are good role models as drivers are half as likely to have been in an accident.

The survey also found that the vast majority of teens (96 percent) have had conversations with their parents about safe driving. This rate is much higher than the number of teens who report having talked with their parents about alcohol/drug use (84 percent), safe sex (78 percent) or bullying (67 percent).

"The results reinforce that parents who actively discuss safe driving habits can have a strong positive influence on teen driving," said Henry Edinger, Chief Customer Officer for Travelers. "It's critical that parents and teens are on the same page about driving dangers and are clearly communicating the consequences for not following the rules of the road."

Despite safe driving leading the list of parent-teen conversations, the survey identifies strong differences in what parents regard as their top driving concerns compared to teens. The biggest gaps exist over driving under the influence, distracted driving caused by mobile devices and staying aware of others on the road.

Key Survey Findings

Parents as Role Models.

Parents play a critical role in influencing teen driving behavior. Teens who report their parents are not good driving role models are more than twice as likely to be involved in an accident. -- Accidents. Twenty-four percent of teens who report their parents are not good driving role models have been in more than one accident as a driver, compared to 10 percent of teens who report their parents are good role models as drivers. -- Tickets. Fifteen percent of teens who report their parents are not good role models as drivers have been issued more than one ticket (speeding or other moving violation), compared to six percent of teens who report their parents are good role models as drivers.

Disconnect over top driving concerns.

The survey found that parents and teens do not always see eye-to-eye when it comes to certain driving-related risks. Among the largest disconnects: -- Driving under the influence. Sixty-six percent of teens are concerned about driving under the influence of alcohol, compared to 14 percent of parents. -- Distracted driving (mobile/smartphone). Fifty-six percent of teens are concerned about distracted driving as a result of mobile/smartphones, versus 35 percent of parents. -- Staying aware of other drivers on the road. Fifty-two percent of teens are concerned about staying aware of other drivers on the road, compared to 31 percent of parents.

"The Talk."

Ninety-eight percent of parents report they have had conversations about safe driving with their teen drivers, while 96 percent of teens report they have had conversations.

Reaching Teens at a Younger Age.

Younger teens are more receptive to safe driving conversations than older teens. Among those who have not had a safe driving conversation with parents: -- Sixty-seven percent of 16-year-olds would like to have the conversation, compared to 29 percent of 18-year-olds. -- Of that 67 percent, half are waiting for their parents to initiate the conversation.

Travelers and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, an international leader in transportation research, have created the Let's Talk Safety Parent/Teen Safe Driving Coaching Guide to help facilitate open communication between parents and their teenage drivers on the importance of safe driving. The Guide equips parents with information for how to initiate the safe driving conversation; ways to educate young people about the dangers of speeding, drunk driving, and distracted driving; and provides parents with a sample "driving contract" they can sign with their children.

Parents can visit for additional tips and resources to help their teens be safe on the road. Travelers also developed an interactive infographic to help parents educate their teens about safe driving.

Survey Methodology

Travelers designed and conducted two national telephone surveys of 2,000 teens and parents of teens. The survey has a statistical margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points.

About Travelers

The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV) is a leading provider of property casualty insurance for auto, home and business. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Travelers has approximately 30,000 employees and generated revenues of approximately $26 billion in 2012. For more information, visit