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Survey: Teens fear other drivers more than themselves
By Insure.com staff

Teen drivers appear to take their responsibility behind the wheel seriously, but many feel helpless about their own car crash risk, according to a national survey of teens by State Farm and Harris Interactive.

Among the teen drivers polled, 98 percent said they felt a personal sense of responsibility for themselves, and 99 percent said they felt responsible for their passengers. But two out of five indicated they had no control over whether they will get in accidents.

"Since previous research shows that 75 percent of teen crashes are caused by driver error, it is troubling that so many believe they have no control over whether or not they will crash," Chris Mullen, State Farm's director of technology research, said in a press statement.

When teen drivers were asked what concerns them while driving, only 55 percent were concerned with their own lack of driving experience. However, 80 percent said they were concerned about other drivers on the road.

Licensed teens were more likely to admit they had read or sent texts while driving than teens with learner's permits. Just 6 percent of teens who had permits said they had texted while driving, compared to 49 percent of licensed teens.

On a more promising note, 93 percent of teens said they wear a seat belt all the time while driving, and 76 percent said they drove with no more than one peer passenger in the car.

"Most teens are getting the message when it comes to risky driving behaviors like not wearing their seat belts or having too many passengers in their car; but less are aware of the dangers of their inexperience," Mullen said. "There is also still room for improvement when it comes to interacting with electronic devices while driving; teens should be aiming for 0 percent usage."

Car crashes are the No. 1 cause of death among teens in North America, and a teen driver's first year on the roads is the most dangerous. State Farm introduced the Celebrate My Drive program in 2012 to emphasize the positive aspects of safe driving.

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