Parents and stereotyping

Parents play a huge role in influencing their children’s driving habits. If a parent or guardian speeds and jumps lights, chances are the child might end up doing so too.

Parents as a bad influence

“Parents are an important long-term influence on young drivers’ behaviour, and there is a need to encourage parents to reflect on what messages they send to their children about driving and road safety.”

“Children… may form habits that become the backdrop to… later behaviours on the road. At a very general level, an individual could develop a habit of seeking risk or being cautious; patterns of inattentive behaviour established… may be hard to relinquish when… a driver. ”

“Some driving habits may be acquired vicariously through watching one’s parents or other significant drivers.”

“One overriding task to which pre-driver education should contribute is the fostering of a safety culture with respect to road behaviour, by encouraging parental role modelling, discouraging the association of images of risky driving with masculine identity, and enlisting positive youth attitudes towards driving responsibly.”

(Durking & Tolmie, 2010)

The Development of Children’s and Young People’s Attitudes to Driving: A Critical Review of the Literature, Durkin, K. & Tolmie, A. (2010). Road Safety Web Publication No. 18. London: Department for Transport.