A study has shown the incredible amount of parents’ driving behaviour that children absorb from a young age and the worrying in-car habits that this can create.
A quarter of dads regularly show unsafe driving behaviour such as accelerating too quickly (26%) and speeding when driving (22%), compared with a considerably lower percentage of mums (11% and 10% respectively).
Despite this, over half of children (52%) prefer being driven by Dad than Mum (39%).
ingenie, a young driver insurance brand, recently interviewed 10- year-old James and 13-year-old Tania to investigate the driving behaviour they have learned from their parents.
When asked to do an impression of his dad driving, James talks on his mobile phone and then beeps the horn aggressively and shouts out the window, seemingly intimidating other drivers.
Meanwhile, Tania says when her mum is driving, “She’s putting her lipstick on, looking at her phone.”
Both sets of parents, who were watching the live interview from another room, expressed their shock at their kids’ impression of their conduct and how much they were taking in on journeys.
The research with children aged between 10 and 16 years old found that they frequently witnessed their parents committing similar transgressions but Dad proved to be the biggest culprit.
Almost half (43%) of dads get angry behind the wheel in comparison with just a fifth (18%) of mums. Children also revealed that their dad (57%) and mum (44%) shout at others whilst driving and Dad is 13% more likely to swear in the car.
With this in mind, it’s surprising to note that over a third (34%) of children would prefer their dad to teach them to drive rather than their mum (25%).
The insights could expose children’s acceptance of unsafe driving habits and the misunderstanding that these traits are normal upon passing a driving test.
Richard King, ingenie CEO, said, “The results reveal that we are teaching children bad driving habits long before they start lessons and subsequently pass their test.
“Parents need to understand the importance of setting a good example behind the wheel and be aware of the amount of information that children absorb. How we drive as parents ultimately influences how safely our children will drive in the future.”