Teen Driver Safety and Smartphones – What Do Parents Think?
June 17, 2021
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