Teens Are Conflicted; State Farm Survey Shows 70% of New Drivers Are Nervous About Being in a Crash or Hurting Someone, Yet 57% Say They Text While Driving
Phoenix, AZ, January 26, 2011 Recently analyzed State Farm® claims data shows the highest number of injury or collision claims filed by teen drivers in Arizona happens in February.
Nationally, October remains the most dangerous month of the year for teen driver crashes. According to claims data, the highest number of injury or collision claims filed by 16- and 17-year old drivers continues to hit a high point in October, spiking by about 15 percent when compared to other months of the year.
State Farm evaluated its extensive claims database from 2003 2009, and in every year, October continues to register the most claims across the United States and portions of Canada. At a state level, about 1 in 4 states show October as the most dangerous month of the year for teen crashes. About 70 percent of states show October as being among its top three months for teen accident claims. Arizona bucks that trend as claims data indicates 7.5 percent of teen car crashes occur in October, whereas in February, there is a spike to 11 percent.
Car crashes remain the number one killer of teens, said State Farm Agent Joy Estes. Were committed to promoting teen driver safety year-round to keep safe driving practices at the top of their minds because our data shows this is one of the most dangerous times of year for teens to be on the road in Arizona.
State Farm Agent Joy Estes has been actively involved with her community on this important issue for several years. Shes partnered with community officials for a distracted driver safety fair later this week, which is sponsored by Joy Estes State Farm Agency, the Scottsdale Police Department, the Scottsdale Fire Department, the Scottsdale Unified School District and the City of Scottsdale. The public is welcome to attend Friday, January 28, at 6:00 p.m. at the Coronado High School basketball game.
A recent State Farm survey by Harris Interactive shows that despite concerns about getting into an accident, most teen drivers still lack awareness about the true ramifications of dangerous driving practices. In the survey, of 14- to 17 year olds who intend to have or already have a drivers license, 70 percent of teen drivers admitted to being nervous about being in a crash or hurting someone. But despite these concerns, 57 percent of teens admit to reading or sending text messages while driving.
When we asked teens why their peers text while driving even though they know it is dangerous, the general response is that staying connected is more important than ever to Generation Y. Kids my age want to stay in touch, said 17-year-old Danish Hasan of Algonquin, IL. We like instant communication, and many kids worry what their friends will think if they dont answer text messages immediately. Danish nearly drove onto a sidewalk while sending a short text message, recovering control of the vehicle just in time to avoid hitting several pedestrians. Danish said this close-call taught him a lesson about how quickly one can become distracted, and now hes an advocate for putting the phone away while driving.
Parents can play a major role in closing the awareness gap with their teens. According to the survey, those teens whose parents frequently talked with them about safe driving practices have the clearest understanding of what represents risky driving behavior.
State Farm and the Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia have produced a social media announcement (SMA), Not Now, Im Driving, to help spread the world about teen driver safety and the importance of refraining from texting while driving. For more information about teen driver safety and National Teen Driver Safety Week, please go to teendriving.statefarm.com.
Visit State Farm Agent Joy Estes Facebook page.
For this State Farm survey, Harris Interactive conducted the survey within the United States on July 22-26, 2010 among 697 U.S. 14- to 17-year-olds, including 694 who intend to have or already have a drivers license. Figures for age, sex, geographic region, and race/ethnicity were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. The margin of error is +/- 3.7 percent.
Angela Thorpe, State Farm Insurance, (303) 264-1560
State Farm insures more cars and homes than any other insurer in the U.S., is the leading insurer of watercraft and is also a leading insurer in Canada. Our 17,800 agents and more than 68,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts more than 79 million auto, fire, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 34 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit statefarm.com® or in Canada statefarm.ca®.