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
Greeley, Colo., May 2, 2011 - State Farm® claims data shows May is the most dangerous month of the year for teen driver crashes in Wyoming. According to claims data spanning the last three years, the highest number of injury of collision claims filed by 16- and 17-year old drivers in Wyoming hit a high point in May, spiking to 14.6 percent when compared to other months of the year.
State Farm evaluated its extensive claims database and Wyoming bucks the prevailing national trend. October continues to register the most claims across the United States and portions of Canada, whereas it is the second lowest month for teen accident claims in Wyoming.
“Car crashes remain the number one cause of teen fatalities,” said Troy Turner, Vice President-Operations at State Farm. “As teens expand their driving experiences, we want them to keep safe driving practices at the top of their minds all year-round.”
A 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 driver’s license, 70 percent of teen drivers admitted to being nervous about being in a crash or hurting someone. But despite these concerns, 57percent 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 don’t 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 he’s 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 Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia have produced a social media announcement (SMA), “Not Now, I’m 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.
Angela Thorpe, State Farm Insurance, (303) 264-1560.
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 driver’s 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.
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