July 21, 2007

Is 16 too young to drive?

My youngest son just finished Drivers Education, and I must say, Im not ready for him to drive. I live in a small town with a high teenage population and sometimes its pretty scary on the road. Your fearful to drive to the store anytime between 2:45 and 3:00 when they are all getting out of school. I think the biggest mistake that parents make when teaching their teens to drive is underestimating the time and effort it takes to help make a teen a safer, smarter driver. Many parents assume that Drivers Ed alone is adequate. I think you should plan to spend a minimum of 50 to 100 hours behind the wheel with your teen over a 6 month period after they receive their permit.Teens need experience in residential, rural, freeway and city driving. They need experience where possible in snow, rain, fog and night-time conditions (it really depends on where they live too. You'll never get snow driving in Cali). According to a Virginia Tech and National Highway Transportation Safety Administration study, distracted drivers accounted for 80% of the crashes in their study and 18-20 year olds were 4 times more likely to be involved in accidents. I think one of the main malfuntions with our distracted drivers is cell phones. It never fails, when your driving behind an idiot, chances are, they arent paying attention to anything but their phone call. I wont blame that primarily on teens, its adults too. I guess because I work in the medical field, Im a little more apprehensive about my son driving. I hear about horror stories all the time. Thank God I dont work in the Emergency Room. I dont know if waiting 2 extra years will help, because experience is experience, but....that would give me two more years to prepare. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, accounting for 36% of all deaths in this age group. I wish there was something to make me feel better about this whole thing, but as it stand, Im scared to death for my baby to get behind the wheel of a car. Lord, give me strength!!


yubi2 said...

Teen Driving statistics are staggering. Most states have enacted better graduated teen driving laws which have had a positive impact. But statistics show that inexperience is still one of largest causes in new driver crashes. I recently saw this article on the Weary Parent site and thought it was worth sharing. It is a possible simple solution to help experienced drivers be aware that a new driver is behind the wheel.

Rookie Driver - Keeping New Drivers Safe

One of the best ways to help keep new teen drivers safe is by giving them a way to be identified as new drivers by others on the road. It has been a long standing tradition in Europe to identify cars being driven by “Learners” with a very easy to identify “L” sticker. By alerting other drivers on the road of the new drivers, experienced drivers can give them more room, be more cautious and a little more understanding when minor courtesy mistakes are made.

Rookie Driver.Net is bringing the awareness to the US, using a fun, teen accepted, car magnet that says Rookie Driver. Afterall, being “Rookie of the Year” is cool in sports, and to teens Rookie Driver is more acceptable than Student Driver or other terms.

The Rookie Driver web site also includes an entire page of teen driving safety links. Definitely worth a look if you have a rookie driver or one who is soon to be.

I just returned from a trip to Baltimore MD and saw dozens of these Rookie Driver magnets---I thought it was great knowing there was a novice driving...it made me more cautious. As an experienced driver, I'm all for being alerted of a new driver, in an effort create safer travel for all.

Source: http://www.wearyparent.com/rookie-driver-keeping-new-drivers-safe/

Qtpies7 said...

It is scary. My second child is ready for her lisence, but she needs a job before she can get it so she can pay for insurance.
I'm glad she is having to wait a bit, I don't want her driving right now, we recently lost 2 kids in our town, and in the 5 years we've been here, its been about 8 kids who've died from driving recklessly. And yesterday a boy in our church took his helmet off while dirtbiking and is in critical cond in the ICU with a broken jaw, broken vertebrae and a concussion at the very least.
OH, and our state mad it illegal for anyone under 18 to use a cell while driving!

MissWrite said...

When your teenager gets ready to take that first step into adulthood, be prepared to make sure they are doing it safely. A teenager's rite of passage is their driver's license. While it is a big milestone for both teen and parent, it's a real source of worry for the parents. I've been there, I know. Probably for the very first time in your child's life you will no longer always know exactly where they are. More importantly it leaves you feeling helpless because you can't see what they're doing, and how they're doing it when they're driving.

With the help of a simple device you can rest easier when your teenager takes the wheel. You can install a 'Personal Mechanic' in their automobile and when your child arrives back you can plug the device into your PC and download the information from it onto Car Checkup's secure website and find out valuable information on your child's driving habits.

You can find out everything from routes taken and distance driven to speed, RPMS, hard breaking, over acceleration, and much more. This way you will be sure your child is developing safe driving habits that will insure a long, and healthy relationship with their automobile, and your own sanity. Your teenager will know too that you care enough to make sure they are safe behind the wheel.

Check out this handy gadget at http://www.carcheckup.com today and sleep better tonight.

peter said...

Great post with Great stuff.Take Virginia Driver Education Online course at DMV Approved Idrivesafely. For teens who want to get their learners permit online.

James said...

Great post with Great stuff.Take Virginia Driver Education Online course at DMV Approved Idrivesafely. For teens who want to get their learners permit online.