DETROIT (WWJ) – Car models change with the times, but one thing remains constant: American adults turn to Dad as their main driving instructor, according to a poll commissioned by

The survey, conducted online in July 2011, showed that among licensed drivers, 32 percent of American men age 18 and older and 26 percent of women age 18 and older said they learned to drive from their fathers. Overall, Dad was the No. 1 instructor among men and women. This survey was conducted among 2,410 U.S. adults.

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For licensed drivers between ages 18 and 34, the Dad-leaning percentage was especially high:

  • Thirty-eight percent of men in that age group said Dad was their primary driving teacher; 21 percent of that same group cited Mom.
  • For women in that age group, 31 percent pointed to Dad as the main instructor. Mom ran a close second, at 28 percent.
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Among licensed drivers polled, 25 percent of men and 23 percent of women said they learned how to drive through a school-sponsored driver’s education program. Meanwhile, 12 percent of women said they learned from private driving instructors, compared with 6 percent of men. Thirteen percent of men and 5 percent of women said they were self-taught drivers.

“Fathers and mothers have a big burden on their shoulders when it comes to teaching their kids how to drive. After all, the parents’ instruction affects what kind of drivers their kids will be for years to come. Plus, that instruction could have a big impact on how much Mom and Dad pay for auto insurance for their teens,” John Egan, managing editor of, said in a written statement.

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This survey was conducted online within the United States from July 22-26, 2011, among 2,410 adults ages 18 and older, of whom 2,232 were licensed drivers.