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How parents worry about teen drivers and car accidents

No matter how old parents are, they always seem to worry about their children. One of the most stressful time periods for parents is when their children approach age 16 and are on the cusp of gaining their driver's license and their first steps of freedom. A recent survey conducted by insurance company Allstate reveals what parents think about their teen drivers and the risk of car accidents. It turns out that moms and dads have slightly different worries.

It may come as no surprise that the majority of parents interviewed in the survey worried about their teenage drivers texting or being distracted by friends while driving. Overall the concern about distraction outranked parents' concern over their teenagers drinking and driving. However, when it came down to what moms and dads individually worry about, there is a difference.

Seventy-five percent of the surveyed mothers worried a "great deal" about distracted driving. Whereas, only 69 percent of the surveyed fathers worried about their teenagers getting distracted on the road. According to the survey, fathers were more worried about drinking and driving than mothers. Fifty-five percent of fathers worried about drinking and driving and less than 50 percent of mothers worried about alcohol and driving.

Overall, parents in the Northeast worried the most about their teenage drivers. Eighty-eight percent of parents in the Northeast worried about teenagers and distracted driving. Parents in the Midwest worried the least with 66 percent.

Parents regardless of region or gender did agree on one thing according to the survey. The vast majority trust the driving of their own teenagers over the driving of other teenagers on the road. Only 17 percent disagreed with the notion.

Source: The Sacramento Bee, "Parents trust their own kids' driving, but not other teens," Sept. 28, 2011

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