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Auto insurer study says teens learn bad driving habits from parents

(NBC) -- From selfies to driving under the influence, teens are picking up bad driving habits from their parents.

That's according to a new report from Liberty Mutual Insurance, which found teen drivers are just as likely to have poor driving habits as their parents.

"In fact, 37 percent of parents surveyed said they're using apps while driving compared to 38 percent of teens," Liberty Mutual said.

About 36 percent of parents justify their own bad behavior because they have more driving experience, but distracted driving is always dangerous, NBC's Liz McLaughlin reports.

"It kind of gives the teens a green light that well 'Dad's doing it, it must be ok for me to do it," said Mike Sample with Liberty Mutual.

The report also found - ironically - that 44 percent of teens said the primary reason they use the phone while driving is to contact or respond to their parents.

Another problem: enforcing the rules. The number of parents who said they don't punish their teens for breaking a driving law, mainly because it's inconvenient, was 37 percent.

Luckily, technology can help parents monitor their teen drivers to hold them accountable, keep them safe. More car manufacturers are offering built-in safety monitoring features. There are also apps and in-car devices that can track speed and even silence phone notifications when the car is in motion.


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