Survey: PA Teens & Parents Demonstrate Dangerous Unawareness of the State's Strengthened Teen Safe Driving Laws

Thu Jan 3, 2013 1:39pm EST

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Allstate findings indicate only 56% of teens, 36% of parents confident on GDL
MALVERN, Pa.,  Jan. 3, 2013  /PRNewswire/ -- A new survey released by Allstate
Insurance finds that many driving-age teenagers and parents of driving-age teens
in  Pennsylvania  need a much stronger understanding of the state's teen driving
safety laws. The findings also indicate that parents play the biggest role in
education and enforcement, but need to vastly improve in both efforts.  

The survey, which was conducted by TRU, a leading youth research and insights
firm, was launched to mark the one-year anniversary of  Pennsylvania's
strengthened Graduated Driver Licensing laws. The revised components, which went
into effect  December 27, 2011, include:

* 65 hours of supervised driving hours before licensure (including 10 hours of
night driving and five hours of inclement weather driving;  
* Passenger limits for junior license holders with the exception of family
* A curfew for junior license holders  between the hours of 11:00pm and 5:00am; 

* And a mandatory six-month holding period following one's 16th  birthday before
eligibility to apply for a driver's license

Key Findings
Several responses among teens and parents alike support the need for both groups
- but especially parents - to develop deeper knowledge of  Pennsylvania's GDL

* 56 percent of teens claimed to be confident in their knowledge of 
Pennsylvania's GDL laws; only 36 percent of parents reported the same
* The majority of teens and parents were aware of three out of the four the
basic components of the law (supervised driving hours, passenger limits and
nighttime restrictions), but only about half were aware of the mandatory holding
* When asked about the specifics of the four components, only 17% of parents and
10% of teens could identify the correct restrictions.

The majority of teen respondents indicated that they value parental influence in
GDL education, but many are not confident about how well their parents know the

* 54% of teens say they have had a conversation with their parents about GDL
* 73% of teens who had these conversations considered them to be effective  
* Only 54% of teens say their parents have a strong understanding of
Pennsylvania GDL laws

The survey also revealed that many teens are breaking GDL laws:

* Only 38% of parents and only 15% of teens say young teen drivers generally
comply with GDL laws.  
* Nearly half (46%) of all  Pennsylvania  teens say they've broken at least one
GDL law ... but only 19% of parents are aware of these infractions.  
* The most common response teens gave for breaking GDL laws was "had an
emergency" (39%)

Additionally, there are major contradictions between parents and teens surveyed
when it comes to enforcement:

* 81% of parents say they enforce the GDL nighttime restrictions with their teen
(40% of teens disagree)  
* 77% of parents say they enforce the restrictions for passengers under age 18
in their teen's vehicle. (50% of teens disagree)  
* 76% of parents say they enforce the minimum number of supervised driving hours
with their teen (51% of teens disagree)  
* 70% of parents say they enforce the mandatory 6-month holding period before
applying for a license (45% of teens disagree)

Encouragingly, most parents (87%) and teens (80%) surveyed understand that GDL
laws save lives. More than three out of four teens (76%) also responded that the
desire to feel safe while they are driving is a  strong  motivator to comply
with their state's GDL laws.

"We know that  Pennsylvania  parents and teens don't want to put themselves,
their passengers or other motorists at risk," said Allstate Insurance
spokesperson  Chris Conner. "But we also know that teens are our youngest, most
inexperienced drivers. We hope these survey results serve as a call to action to
parents to learn and enforce the state's GDL laws."

To learn more about  Pennsylvania's GDL laws, please visit the  Pennsylvania
Teen Safe Driving Coalition homepage. For more general information on GDL and
teen driving safety, please visit the  Allstate Foundation Teen Driving

TRU conducted a total of 401 online interviews among teens ages 16-18 and
parents of teens ages 16-18, yielding a margin of error of +/-4.9 percentage
points. Interviews were conducted from  October 13th  through  October 30th,
2012. Screening criteria was enforced to ensure that all teens/teens of parents
surveyed intended to acquire their learner's permit, junior driver's license, or
driver's license prior to their 18th  birthday.

The Allstate Corporation  (NYSE: ALL) is the nation's largest publicly held
personal lines insurer, serving approximately 16 million households through its
Allstate, Encompass, Esurance and Answer Financial brand names. Widely known by
its slogan "You're In Good Hands With Allstate®," Allstate offers insurance
products (auto, home, life and retirement) and services through Allstate
agencies, independent agencies, and Allstate exclusive financial
representatives, as well as via  and 1-800 Allstate®. As part
of  Allstate's commitment  to strengthen local communities, The Allstate
Foundation, Allstate employees, agency owners and the corporation provided  $28
million  in 2011 to thousands of nonprofit organizations and important causes
across  the United States.

 Contact:  Chris Conner               

SOURCE  Allstate
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