Case Study: Teen Driving Behaviors Study

Findings from a national study of teen drivers (ages 16 to 18) and parents of teen drivers, conducted jointly by UMTRI and Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc., with all telephone data collection conducted by American Directions Research  Group, show a significant correlation between parent and teen behaviors behind the wheel. Results suggest that parents play a significant role in modeling risky behavior on the road.

For this study, American Directions worked with the study sponsors to develop a national sampling frame, as well as in specific markets including Chicago, Philadelphia, Houston, Long Island, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. ADG telephone interviewers conducted telephone interviews with 5,500 young drivers and parents.

Interviewing busy parents, or teens, can be a difficult task on its own. This study involved an added challenge of interviewing 400 pairs of teens and parents from the same household (dyads). This is a unique factor that allows researchers to analyze closely how driving behaviors among parents and teens within the same family unit relate to each other.

This project is one of many national policy discussions in which ADRG-collected survey data plays an important role. Designed to shed new light on frequently discussed driving risks and to identify effective driving role models, this study also looked at a range of risk factors that receive less public attention but pose great risks on the road as well as the role parents and peers play in encouraging distracted driving behaviors. 

We really appreciate ADRG’s partnership on the teen survey project, especially (Client Services Director) Eleanor Ty’s attention to detail, responsiveness and ongoing patience. We couldn’t have done it without the whole team at American Directions.”
— Toyota Client Representative