ARLINGTON, VA— When looking at specific driving distractions 76% of parents eat or drink while driving, 53% play loud music or sing loudly, 55% talk on the phone, and 22% receive a text message alert. In comparison, among teens, 54% eat or drink, 53% play loud music or sing loudly, 32% talk on the phone, and 24% receive a text message alert. Moreover, 50% of parents and 44% of teen drivers believe they can do multiple things at once and still drive safely.

When asked about avoiding distractions while driving, 71% of teens recall their parents telling them to pull over to talk on the phone or to refrain from using the phone all together, and 74% of parents indicated they have relayed this message. Further, 33% of teens recall being told not to text while driving, and 37% of parents indicate they have also relayed this message. Despite having conversations about the dangers associated with distracted driving, more than half of parents and one-third of teens said they have used their phone while driving in the past three months.

The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, a national not-for-profit funded by distilled spirits producers to fight drunk driving and underage drinking, recently commissioned a national sample of matched paired interviews consisting of parents and their teen drivers between the ages of 15-18 years of age. The study, conducted by APCO Insight, showed that parents and their teens are talking about distractions while at the wheel and both recall the conversation, however the behaviors persist.

The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility announced the survey in advance of National Teen Driver Safety Week (October 17 to 23, 2010). According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving-related crashes claimed 5,474 lives and led to 448,000 traffic injuries throughout the United States in 2009.

“The research demonstrates the seriousness of the problem and a greater reason to educate today’s youth and also become better role models as adults,” stated Susan Molinari, Chairman of The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility. “National Teen Driver Safety Week is the perfect time to continue the discussion about distracted driving with family and friends. Our research indicates the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree – fellow parents, we must become more responsible role models ourselves.”

The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility has prepared a Teen Driving Safety Week E-Card and invites concerned parties to share it with the parents and teens in your life in an effort to encourage safe and responsible behavior behind the wheel. Additionally, if you are a motor vehicle administrator or professional driving instructor and would like to download a poster to display in your place of business as a reminder to not drive distracted, please visit: http://www.responsibility.org/files/reports/TeenDriverPoster09.pdf

The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility
Launched in 1991, The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility is a leader in the fight against drunk driving and underage drinking and promotes responsible decision making regarding beverage alcohol. The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility is funded by: Bacardi U.S.A., Inc., Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc., Brown-Forman, Constellation Brands, Inc., Diageo, Hood River Distillers, Inc., Pernod Ricard USA, and Sidney Frank Importing Co., Inc. For more information about our initiative or to download the E-Card visit: www.responsibility.org.

About the Survey
APCO Insight, an international opinion research and consulting firm, conducted an online survey comprised of 750 paired interviews with teen drivers aged 15-18 and one of their parents. The survey was completed May 18 - May 26, 2010. The sampling error for the survey is ± 3.6 percentage points.


Jessica Lepak

The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility


(202) 637-0077