Parents to blame for teens’ bad driving habits, new research reveals

You may want to think twice about going a few extra kilometres over the speed limit or picking up your phone at the lights, especially if your kids are in the car…

It’s been revealed that teenagers who observe their parents’ bad driving behaviour start committing the same on-road sins themselves.

The confronting revelation was made after RACQ conducted a study with a number of young motorists, who admitted to driving tired or over the speed limit after seeing their parents do the same.


“When parents break the rules and drive unsafely it clearly makes young drivers think they can get away with the same behaviour,” RACQ spokesperson Clare Hunter said.

“These are the people young drivers look up to which is why it’s disappointing to see so many parents are setting these bad examples.”

Ms Hunter said the study also found a quarter of young drivers who witnessed a parent using a hand-held mobile phone while driving had committed the same offence.

“Like speeding and fatigue, distraction’s one of the biggest killers on our roads, and it’s disturbing novice drivers are copying these dangerous behaviours,” she said.

Ms Hunter urged parents to consider the example they set for their teens behind the wheel.

“Drive how you want your kids to drive and make sure you refresh yourself on the road rules.”

Young drivers who copied their parents’ bad driving behaviours:

Driving tired – 53.5 percent

Speeding – 52.7 percent

Use a phone while stopped at lights – 36.1 percent

Drive using a hand-held mobile phone – 24.5 percent

Check social media while driving – 17.6 percent

Run a red light – 15.1 percent

Drive without a seatbelt – 13.5 percent

Drink some alcohol before driving 11.4 percent

Drive while over the alcohol limit – 4.4 percent.