The Parent Trap: How Overprotective Parents Might be Hindering their Child’s Driving

By Lewis on 5th August 2019 - View Comments

Parents are there to support their children through the most important life moments; whether it be taking first steps, riding a bicycle or, possibly, driving a car.

But as any parent knows, it can be hard to let your little one go off without you, no matter how old they are – especially when it’s on the open road.

Leasing Options conducted a survey of 1000 people to see how far parents are going to protect their children behind the wheel – and they’ve discovered that it’s not necessarily benefiting their children’s driving ability.

The Findings
Learning from parents = points on your licence?
1 in 10 18-24 year olds whose parents helped teach them to drive already have points on their licencecompared to 90% who weren’t taught by parents having a clean licence. Since you can only legally pass your test at 17, these young drivers were convicted pretty quickly.
Nearly 1 in 10 18-24 year olds who were taught to drive solely by their parents have been banned completely – this means that it has taken merely a maximum of seven years to be disqualified from the roads.

Both these statistics suggest that parents’ decisions to take the old-fashioned route in teaching their kids to drive might not be the best one for their future…

Keeping on track
Over 50% of mums and dads use a GPS tracker app to monitor their kid’s driving.

This might seem a tad overprotective, but alongside the percentage of parents that utilise these ever-more popular GPS apps, many other technologies and incentives are also in place…the next highest ranking tech on the chart is speed limit trackers, which 2 out of 5 parents say they use, closely followed b the use of rewards for good driving.

Long-distance doubt
Leasing Options found that of the third of parents that have driving agreements with their kids, 26% of them include an agreement to no long-distance driving.
Though this again likely comes from a desire to protect – like the over 70% of mums and dads whose driving agreement involves all the passengers in their kid’s car wearing a seatbeltsaying no to letting your pride and joy onto the motorways is a bad idea in the long run. It could hold them back from learning how to navigate or how to handle the motorway alone, essentially restricting their driving development.

Parents and the legal driving age

You might think parents restricting their kids from learning essential skills like motorway driving is bad but some would go even further than that. More than a quarter of those surveyed said they would want to increase the legal driving age (which is currently set at 17).

Parental perfection – or not

Most parents like to think they know everything regarding their kids. It’s no surprise, then, that the survey saw 76% of parents state that they were a better driver than their children.

That’s also not surprising in light of some of the words that parents used to describe their child’s driving: more than 1 in 10 parents described it as ‘worrying’, ‘risky’, or outright ‘terrifying’.

When asked about their child’s bad habits, parents put hesitancy on top of the list, followed by tailgating and driving aggressively.

However, parents don’t get off completely scot-free – their children were also surveyed, and it turns out that the mums and dads have some bad habits too…

As you can see from the chart, 3 out of 5 children found their parents act like annoying ‘backseat-drivers’, giving them unwanted criticism.

2 in 5 kids also said they find their parents physically flinching or gasping if they make a mistake in the car.
A quarter of kids even say that their parents make a habit of pressing an imaginary brake pedal when they’re in the passenger seat!

So, the question still remains: are overprotective parents making their kids worse behind the wheel? What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

Thanks to our friends at Leasing Options for carrying out the original research. If you want to read more about the study, you can check out the press release here.

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