To better understand the views of parents regarding teen driver safety, smartphones, and distracted driving, Smith Micro surveyed more than 2,000 American parents of teenagers in April 2021.* This research provided many interesting takeaways, including demographic insights based on parental gender, age, and U.S. region.
Parents, Teens & Distracted Driving – Insights by Gender
- When asked what the most common driving distraction for themselves is, a significantly higher percentage of male parents (64%) cited phone-based distractions when compared to female parents (41.36%):
- Smartphone Use – 20% of males vs. 19.2% of females
- Talking on the Phone – 24.4% of males vs. 14.4% of females
- Texting – 19.6%of males vs. 7.7% of females
- Following the same trend, male parents (69.2%) were much more likely than their female counterparts (37.92%) to cite phone-based distractions as most dangerous for their teen driver(s):
- Smartphone Use – 22.8% of males vs. 19.2% of females
- Talking on the Phone – 25.7% of males vs. 10.4% of females
- Texting – 20.6%of males vs. 8.2% of females
- When asked: To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement: My child’s generation is more at risk for distracted driving & distracted driving-related accidents than any generation before because of smartphones.
- 55.2% of male parents selected “strongly agree” vs. 29.4% of female parents
- 29.7% of male parents selected “somewhat agree” vs. 30.9% of female parents
- Only 3.6% of male parents selected “strongly disagree” vs. 15.2% of female parents
- When asked: To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement: A mobile app that monitors, detects, and reports on my teen’s driving behavior would be beneficial in helping me to teach my teen safer driving habits.
- 56.9% of male parents selected “strongly agree” vs. 28.7% of female parents
- 27.8% of male parents selected “somewhat agree” vs. 30.9% of female parents
- Only 2.8% of male parents selected “strongly disagree” vs. 14.88% of female parents
Even though a significantly higher proportion of female parents strongly disagreed with the previous statement (see above), only a very small minority said they would not be willing to pay a monthly subscription fee for a driver safety monitoring app.
|Choice||% of Female Parents||% of Male Parents||Total % of Parents Surveyed|
|Less than $9.99/month||8.3%||12.0%||11.7%|
|I would not pay a monthly subscription fee.||1.0%||1.7%||1.5%|
Key Takeaways based on Parent Gender
- Male parents view phone-related distracted driving behaviors as much more dangerous for their teen drivers than do female parents.
- Interestingly, a majority of male parents also believe that smartphones can be part of the solution in teaching their teen(s) safer driving habits.
- While a majority of female parents (59.6%) either strongly agreed or somewhat agreed with this sentiment, nearly one in six (14.8%) strongly disagreed that a mobile app could be beneficial as a teen driver safety tool.
- Even though a much higher proportion of male parents see value in a driver safety app for educational purposes, both sexes were pretty even when it came to pricing sensitivity for this type of mobile app.
Conclusions based on Parent Gender
- When possible, digital marketing budgets should be skewed toward the male demographic when promoting a driver safety monitoring app – 65% of spend focused on males vs. 35% of spend focused on females would be a good starting point.
- Along the same lines, the data makes it clear that male parents should be expected to react more favorably to marketing campaigns linking teen safety concerns with smartphone-related distracted driving. While the female data set showed mild correlation between these concepts, the male data set demonstrated strong correlation as nearly seven out of 10 male parents (69.2%) cited phone-based distractions as most dangerous for their teen driver(s) vs. 37.2% of female parents surveyed.
- The vast majority of parents (regardless of gender), are willing to pay a monthly subscription for a mobile app that provides driver safety monitoring functionality. Only 26 parents out of the 1,657 (1.57%) that answered this question said they would be unwilling to pay a monthly fee. Conversely, 1,172 parents, or 70.7%, said they would be willing to pay a monthly subscription between $9.99 and $19.99 for a driver safety monitoring app.
Interested in offering a driver safety app to your subscribers? Smith Micro can help! Click here to learn more about SafePath Drive, a turnkey solution purpose-built for wireless carriers.
*To learn more about the survey methodology or to download the free survey eBook, visit: https://info.smithmicro.com/teen-driver-safety-survey