40% of Parents Report Teen In Distracted Driving Accident

According to a recent consumer survey* commissioned by Smith Micro Software, 70% of parents believe that smartphones put their children’s generation at more risk for distracted driving-related accidents. Four in ten parents stated that their teen driver has been involved in a distracted driving-related accident and 63% believe their teen is more likely to get into an accident caused by distracted driving when they’re driving or riding with their friends.

“Texting, using an app, or making a phone call while driving can have devastating consequences for anyone, but when combined with a teen’s inexperience behind the wheel, it can be the perfect combination for being involved in or causing an accident because of distracted driving,” said William W. Smith, Jr., President and CEO of Smith Micro. “We developed SafePath® Drive to provide wireless carriers with a turnkey solution to help their customers address the pervasive problem of distracted driving caused by smartphones.”

When asked to select the most dangerous distracted driving behavior for their teen driver(s), more than one in five parents (21%) cited smartphone use, 16% voted for talking on the phone, 13% of parents selected driving with friends in the car, while texting was also cited by 13% as most dangerous.

Interestingly, the majority of parents surveyed also believe that smartphones could be part of the solution when it comes to teen driver safety. Almost six in ten parents (57%) said they have or would consider using a mobile app to monitor, detect, and report on their teen’s dangerous driving behavior, while nearly seven in ten (69%) said that a mobile app with this functionality would be helpful in teaching their teen safer driving habits.

“Family safety is more than just people. It’s all the connected devices that are part of the family digital lifestyle, which now includes the family car,” Smith explained. “The results of this survey prove that the utility and value of driver safety monitoring technology resonates with parents of teen drivers, which is exactly the reason we enhanced the functionality of our SafePath platform to help our carrier customers capitalize on this demand.”

Launched in November 2020, SafePath Drive is a white-label mobile app that utilizes the sensors embedded on smartphones to detect, track, and report upon dangerous driving behaviors such as speeding, hard cornering/braking, and risky smartphone use.

A research brief containing additional key survey findings as well as demographic splits based on age, gender and U.S. region is available for download here.

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