1 in 4 Teens Too Scared to Drive, Says Survey From The Zebra

A new survey explores how fear causes teens to avoid driving, which teens have the most driving anxiety and how parents play a role in raising concerns

The Zebra, the nation's leading car insurance search engine, today published findings from a nationwide teen driving survey, revealing teens are afraid to take the wheel. One in four unlicensed teens said fear is preventing them from learning to drive, beating out other reasons such as high costs, environmental concerns and a preference to be driven around by parents. Parents, however, seemed to underestimate how much this worry impacts teens’ decision to put off driving.

Findings include:

  • Teen girls express more fear of driving than boys:Nearly half of all teen girls (47 percent) said driving is “scary” compared to 33 percent of all teen boys, and 26 percent of unlicensed girls said fear is preventing them from getting a driver’s license compared to 17 percent of unlicensed boys.
  • Most urban teens (51 percent) agreed that driving was scary, while fear was less pronounced for suburban teens (35 percent) and rural teens (35 percent).

When parents of non-driving teens were asked to identify why their teen doesn’t drive, only 12.5 percent of parents said it was fear (half of what teens stated). However, parents had plenty of worry of their own.

  • Nearly 60 percent of parents said that they were scared by the idea of their teen driving.
  • Moms are more worried than dads: 62 percent of moms said they’re scared for their teen to drive, compared to 53 percent of dads.
  • Parents of teen daughters were a little more worried than parents of teen sons: While 61 percent of parents with a teen girl said they were scared for their child to drive, that number dropped to 54 percent among parents of teen boys.

Teens and their parents are right to be worried about the dangers of teen driving. According to the CDC, teen drivers are up to three times more likely to suffer a fatal crash than drivers age 20 or older. The good news: Studies have shown that driving safety improves when teens wait until they’re older to get licensed.

“It’s tempting to think of teens as this irresponsible bunch of drivers, especially when you look at the scary crash statistics,” says Alyssa Connolly, director of market insights at The Zebra. “However, our research shows that many teens are aware of the dangers of driving, and they’re increasingly making the choice to stay off the road until they’re ready for those risks and responsibilities. That’s a smart decision. Teens are safer when they wait a few years to start driving and they can also avoid major costs including high car insurance rates.”

For additional statistics and information about teen drivers, please visit the report at https://www.TheZebra.com/research/teen-driving-fears/.

About The Zebra

The Zebra is the nation's leading auto insurance search engine. With its dynamic, real-time quote comparison tool, drivers can identify insurance companies with the coverage, service level and pricing to suit their unique needs. The Zebra compares more than 200 car insurance companies and provides agent support and educational resources to ensure drivers are equipped to make the most informed decisions about their car insurance. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, The Zebra has sought to bring transparency and simplicity to insurance shopping since 2012 — it's "insurance in black and white."