Parents Passing On Bad Habits To Learner DriversSurvey finds that parents teaching teens to drive not always the best role models on the road

  • Parenting
  • Parents Passing On Bad Habits To Learner Drivers

Everyone hopes their kids will be safe and competent drivers when they finally get their learner’s permits and take to the roads.

But it seems parents teaching their kids to drive are passing on a whole bunch of bad habits as well as good ones when their teens get behind the wheel.

A new survey from the NRMA reveals Aussie parents are responsible for their kids adopting habits like using mobile phones while driving and speeding.

Almost 900 NRMA Free2Go customers aged between 16 and 19 – who had either recently obtained their provisional driving licence or were currently undergoing professional driving instruction – were surveyed, with a third revealing their parent or supervising driver had taught them incorrect skills.

Most of these were associated with parallel parking, roundabout use and blind spot head checks. However, 37 per cent of learner drivers claimed they had witnessed a supervising driver or parent speeding, while a further 20 per cent saw them fail to indicate when turning or using a mobile phone on the road.

The majority of those surveyed (84%) said their drivers had taught them to drive. Half of those who used instructors said that they had been taught road rules that their parents and/or supervising drivers were unaware of.

At least 65 per cent of students said their experience with a professional driving instructor was “very positive” compared with 37 per cent who said they had a “very positive” experience with a parent or other supervising driver.

NRMA Safer Driving Instructor, Mark Toole, said the  results clearly indicated how important it was that learner drivers were taught the right habits from the start of their learning experience.

“Learning to drive can be an exciting, but anxiety filled time for both the learner driver and the supervising driver,” Mr Toole said.

“It might have been 20 years since the supervisor had to think about the technicalities of getting behind the wheel, and in many cases, road rules and conditions are very different from when parents first learned how to drive.”

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