Liberty Mutual & SADD Partnership

Promoting responsible teen driving behavior.

members of students against drunk driving
Since 1991, Liberty Mutual and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) have worked together to promote responsible behavior through open communication between teens and parents.

As part of our efforts to raise awareness and to serve as a resource that empowers teens and parents to communicate openly and make healthy and safe decisions, we feel it's important to listen to a teen’s point of view related to road safety to best understand the decisions they face and how and why they make decisions.

Our most recent survey of high school juniors and seniors, conducted in the spring of 2016, found that a high percentage of teens report that their parents engage in unsafe driving behavior and those teens repeat their parents poor driving habits in nearly equal amounts.
Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD 2016 Teen Driving Study Result Highlights
  • 27% of teens admit to texting and driving
  • 68% admit to using apps while driving
  • 64% of teens say using music apps while driving is dangerous or distracting, but 46% still use them
  • 80% of teens implicitly believe app use while driving is not distracting
  • 1/3 of teens are driving drowsy
  • 1 in 10 teens have completely fallen asleep behind the wheel
  • 50% of parents have knowingly texted their teen while they are driving and 29% of parents expect a response before their teen reaches their destination.
When it comes to changing teens' behavior on the road, it's essential for parents to realize the important role that they play. Keeping these conversations open and honest has the ability to encourage responsible driving among today's teens. Dr. Gene Beresin, Senior Advisor on adolescent psychiatry with SADD and Executive Director of The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Mass General Hospital, has the following tips to help parents of teen drivers:

  • Start Young: It's important to engage teens in a dialogue even before driving age so you can get them talking about their motives and beliefs earlier on, and help shape safer behavior.
  • Don't Lecture: A two-way conversation will be more productive and give your teen a chance to share beliefs and concerns about driving, so make sure to listen and ask open-ended questions.
  • Create a daily schedule: One good path to less worry is for parents to help teens map out their schedules to ensure they get enough sleep before early morning activities and have a ride home if staying out late.
  • Set Expectations: Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD encourage parents and teens to use the Teen Driving Contract as a conversation starter and discussion guide. This tool covers important safety issues and is an easy roadmap for parents and teens alike to uphold family driving rules.
Dr. Gene Beresin
dr. gene beresin
Dr. Gene Beresin is Senior Advisor on adolescent psychiatry with SADD, executive director of The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), a full professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School (HMS), and senior educator in child and adolescent psychiatry at MGH.

He received a B.A. in music from Princeton University, and an M.A. in philosophy along with his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.