A State Farm survey shows that parents think their teens are obeying the law when it comes to driving under restrictions.
But what parents think - or hope - and what teens are doing don't match up, the study shows.
States started allowing teens to drive under restrictions in the mid 1990s. These graduated driver licensing (GDL) laws were enacted to keep teens out of high-risk driving situations while permitting them to gain on-road experience in low-risk environments.
State Farm surveyed a sample of 500 parents of teen drivers and an independent sample of 500 teen drivers in June, asking for their take on parental monitoring and graduated driver licensing laws—if teens follow the laws and the reasons why they do so.
The survey found that parents overestimate how much teens obey two key provisions of GDL laws: nighttime driving and passenger restrictions.
About 69 percent of parents believe their teen driver almost always follows nighttime driving restriction, while less than half (48 percent) of teens admit to almost always following this law.
The study also found that 70 percent of parents believe their teen driver almost always obeys passenger restrictions, while only 43 percent of teens state they almost always follow this restriction.
Parents were significantly more likely to report they almost always monitor if their teens are obeying the GDL laws, the study found. But teens disagree.
About 66 percent of parents said they almost always monitor whether their teen obeys nighttime restrictions, but only 32 percent of teens said their parents almost always monitor their adherence to that law.
Similarly, 65 percent of parents said they almost always monitor their teens adherence to passenger restrictions, while only 27 percent of teens said their parents almost always monitor their adherence to those restrictions.