Kids have bad habits? Blame the parents says Liberty Mutual

Report suggests there is a strong correlation between the bad driving habits of parents and their children

Kids have bad habits? Blame the parents says Liberty Mutual

Insurance News

By Lyle Adriano

A new study conducted by Liberty Mutual found that parents with bad driving habits tend to have teenagers who also share the same poor driving behaviors.

Liberty Mutual surveyed 2,000 high school drivers and 1,000 parents in April and May for the study.

The report found that nearly half of the parents surveyed – 49% – admitted to talking on the phone while driving. Thirty-seven% (37%) also said they exceed the speed limit by at least 10mph.

The insurer also discovered that teenagers are just as likely to have poor driving habits as their parents.

“More surprisingly, parents exhibit dangerous driving habits and frequently do so as often as their teens. In fact, 37% of parents are using apps while driving compared to 38% of teens,” the insurer said in its report. “This behavior could be establishing and reinforcing bad behaviors behind the wheel for inexperienced teen drivers.”

Although 15% of the teens surveyed said they take selfies while driving, their parents were not any better – 14% of moms and dads also admitted to snapping photos of themselves while behind the wheel.

The report also found a similar trend when it came to driving while intoxicated or under the influence of cannabis.

Nine per cent (9%) of the parents surveyed admitted to driving under the influence of cannabis, and 8% said they have driven while intoxicated. Additionally, 11% said they vape while driving. The percentage of teens admitting to any of the above bad driving habits matched the rates of their parents.

Liberty Mutual also noted that – ironically – parents who ask their kids not to text and drive often text their children while they are driving and expect a response.

“Parents are role models for their teen drivers and when the parent is the ‘rule breaker’ they are setting a bad example. I encourage parents and teens to set and agree upon boundaries together to help keep everyone safe on the road,” commented Dr. Gene Beresin, Liberty Mutual consultant and executive director of The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Other poor driving habits that parents and their children share include (according to the study):

Behavior while Driving



Speeding 10+mph






Driving when drowsy



Checking phone notifications






Driving with headphones on



Taking selfies





Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!