Research Shows More than 33% of Parents Don’t Enforce Teen Driver Laws

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June 24, 2020—Foster City, CA — Traffic safety experts credit Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws as a vital reason teen driver fatalities have dropped over the past two decades. These regulations are intended to save lives and protect young drivers by allowing them to safely gain experience before obtaining full driving privileges.

A recent survey finds that more than one-third of teen drivers’ parents say they don’t always enforce GDL laws. The research shows a troubling trend: the percentage of parents consistently enforcing teen driver laws has decreased steadily over the past three years, dropping 15 percentage points since 2018.





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The complete report is available here: survey 2020: Why many parents don’t enforce teen driver safety laws

This research shows that the single greatest reason why many parents ignore GDL laws is that they don’t know what they are. A surprising 48% of respondents say they aren’t aware of their state’s requirements, compared to 29% who admitted ignorance of the rules in 2018.

Highlights of other findings:

  • The most commonly-ignored regulations are: time restrictions, such as limiting overnight and early morning driving; use of cell phone behind the wheel; passengers (rules about who can be in the car with a new driver at the wheel); and hours of supervised practice
  • Adding a teen to and car insurance policy can increase car insurance rates by an average of 161% or $2,328 a year
  • Mothers generally enforce the rules more frequently than fathers (68% of moms claim to follow the rules well only 58% of dads are compliant)
  • Parents admit they frequently fail to set a good example, such as 42% of respondents occasionally texting while driving with their teen
  • When asked about their teen’s worst driving habits, parents noted the largest problems are texting while driving, parallel parking, and speeding.

The report provides information on the reasons parents give for failing to enforce teen driving laws, average rates and key discounts for teen drivers and safety features influencing car-buying decisions for kids.’s Managing Editor Les Masterson is an author of the latest research and is available to elaborate on the findings.

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