The danger of teenage drivers

В рубриках: Automobile | Автор: admin 03.01.2012

The Danger of Teenage Drivers

Perhaps it is time to re-think how we are teaching driver’s education at high schools. I remember taking driver’s education at my high school at 7am every Saturday for an extended period of time (perhaps a couple of months or so).

We had a combination of instruction that was given in a classroom where we went over the rules of the road as well as watched safety videos and had periodic quizzes. Then we also had the portion of the class immediately following in which we got into the driver’s education car with our instructor and two or three of our other group members. We would take turns slowly navigating the busy streets of Long Island (yes, they were even busy at 7:30am!).

It was an extremely difficult class with little room for error. After we finished the class, we all scheduled our separate road tests at varying locations across Long Island. And guess what? All of us passed our road tests on the first try. There must’ve been about 20 of us or so. Now, you may attribute this to the preparation we received in class or maybe it was due to something else. But sometimes, I wonder how difficult the driver’s education classes are elsewhere in the country because having lived in North Carolina now for the past 8 years or so, it never ceases to amaze me how incredibly inept many of the young drivers are. And as we all know, many of the habits we develop when we are young only get worse as we grow older. From failing to indicate when you want to change lanes or make a turn to following others too closely, there are accidents waiting to happen everywhere I go.

If anything, living in North Carolina has taught me how to be a better defensive driver than living in New York (not what you would think!). The teenagers today are growing up in an age of technology. When I took my road test in high school, cell phones were just on the brink of coming into existence. We still used beepers and thought they were “cool”. We didn’t have as many distractions with GPS systems and DVD players in our vehicles. Ipods hadn’t even come out yet. Geez, it makes high school seem like forever ago for me, even though it was only 8 years ago now. The point is this, teenagers need to have tougher instruction during their driver’s education classes. New York has a cell phone law in place for a reason; it’s distracting! Even if you’re having a conversation with a hands-free cell phone, the emotional converastion you might be having is enough to distract you and cause an accident.

I’m not saying that cell phones are what is causing teenagers to drive poorly. Surely, there are a number of other factors. But it definitely needs to be emphasized to teenagers everywhere that while driving may seem like a lot of fun and may give you the so-called “freedom” you so desperately crave at that age, it is still first and foremost a “privilege” and not a “right”.

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