SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Glenn Rossman, Cynthia Dunlop

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Seven out of 10 Hispanic Parents Unaware that Car Crashes Are the No. 1 Killer of Teens

Hispanic parents look for tools and resources to help keep their teen safer on the road

NORTHBROOK, Ill., April 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The inaugural ¡Vamos! survey from The Allstate Foundation found that 29 percent of Hispanic parents correctly identified car crashes as the leading cause of death among teens. Most Hispanic parents, 42 percent, assumed drugs and alcohol were the No.1 cause of teen deaths.

"¡Vamos!," or "Let's Go!" in English, is the first-ever national survey looking into the attitudes and behaviors of Hispanic teen drivers and parents. For both white and Hispanic teens, car crashes are the leading cause of death and The Allstate Foundation conducted the survey to identify tools and tips to help all parents keep their teen safer behind the wheel. The survey compares these two groups in order to establish trends and identify resources that can assist traffic safety experts when creating programs. According to the U.S. Census, as of 2012, Hispanic teens made up 20 percent of all teens in the U.S. and the Hispanic teen population is expected to grow six times the rate of the teen population overall through 2020.

"I've gone through the licensing process with both of my children and know firsthand how difficult and scary it can be every time you hand over the keys," said Jorge Monsivais, Allstate agency owner and parent of a newly licensed teen driver. "By just understanding the real risks to our teens on the road, we can do a lot to help prepare and train them for the many challenging situations they may face."

Of the Hispanic parents surveyed, nearly 50 percent mostly or only speak Spanish in the home and tend to consume media only in that language. The Allstate Foundation has created new driver education resources available for parents in Spanish and English to help make the next generation of drivers safer. New resources include:

Teen Driver Coaching Tips: Driving with a teen after they get a license is one of the most important things a parent can do to keep their child safe. The Allstate Foundation created practice lessons and tips for parents to guide their newly licensed driver. 

Parent-Teen Agreement: Teens want to know what is expected of them. Parents and teens can use this template agreement to come up with mutually agreed-upon rules of the road before handing over the keys to the car.

Graduated Driver Licensing Video: The GDL process can be confusing for parents and teens. The National Safety Council partnered with The Allstate Foundation to help make GDL easier to understand in a visual, fun way.

Additionally, among those surveyed, 17 percent of Hispanic teens have a full license, compared with 40 percent of white teens, and among those without licenses, twice as many Hispanic teens anticipate delaying driver's licensing until age 18. Teens and their parents both cite safety and the need to be more responsible as the top reasons for the delay in licensure.

Unfortunately, many teens who decide to delay getting a license until they are 18 years old or older miss the life-saving process known as graduated driver licensing. It's a process that gradually introduces teen drivers to riskier experiences and challenges they may face on the road. More than 70 scientific studies have proven when teens get gradual experience and driving privileges, their odds of getting into a car crash are reduced. Typical state programs include a minimum number of driving hours with a parent or guardian before earning a license, and restrictions on nighttime driving and the number of passengers in the vehicle. They are proven to reduce teen car crashes by up to 40 percent.

Additional findings from the survey include:

Hispanic parents are looking for resources that will help inform them about teen driving laws.

  • Twenty-three percent of Hispanic parents are not very familiar with the teen driving laws in their state.
  • Seventy percent of Hispanic parents say that they would attend an in-person seminar to learn more about their state's teen driving laws. Only 34 percent of white parents say that they would attend an in-person seminar.

Hispanic parents' concern for their teens translates into strict driving rules.

  • Hispanic parents worry their teens are not ready to drive. Hispanic parents cite the need to be more responsible (43 percent) and safety concerns (36 percent) as the top two reasons why their teen hadn't started the licensing process.
  • Notably, Hispanic parents set a lot of rules around nighttime driving. Seventy-one percent of Hispanic teens say that their parents are very strict about nighttime driving compared to 56 percent of whites.
  • Hispanic teens also don't violate nighttime driving restrictions as much as their white peers (80 vs. 53 percent).

Hispanic parents may not realize the risks their teens face, which could leave teens ill-equipped for dangers on the road.

  • Traffic safety experts say and research shows that time spent driving with a parent is one of the top ways teens can be more prepared for the road. However, 70 percent of Hispanic parents believe that factors outside of hours spent driving with their teen contributes to their teens' driving skills, compared to 44 percent of whites.
  • Practice driving with a parent in more challenging driving conditions also helps prepare teens to anticipate dangers on the road.  However, when learning to drive, Hispanic teens reported rarely or never driving on high speed roads (62 percent), bad weather (79 percent), and during the night (49 percent).

"It's really encouraging to see that parents in the Hispanic community are putting rules in place for their teen driver," continued Monsivais. "It's not easy, but it's something I do with my own teen driver. The Allstate Foundation's tools can help parents feel more comfortable and prepared before our teens head out on the road."

For more information and additional survey findings, visit www.allstatefoundation.org/vamos

About the ¡Vamos! Survey

The Vamos survey was conducted from September 19 through October 9, 2013, by GfK using Knowledge Panel® and Cada Cabeza®. A national sample of 1,615 Hispanic and white parents and teens were interviewed. The margin of error is +/- 4. 9 percent, at a 95 percent confidence level.

About The Allstate Foundation

Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL). Through partnerships with nonprofit organizations across the country, The Allstate Foundation brings the relationships, reputation and resources of Allstate to support innovative and lasting solutions that enhance people's well-being and prosperity. With a focus on teen safe driving and building financial independence for domestic violence survivors, The Allstate Foundation also promotes safe and vital communities; tolerance, inclusion, and diversity; and economic empowerment. For more information, visit www.AllstateFoundation.org.

SOURCE The Allstate Foundation

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