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Bobbilynn's avatar

How can we get our young drivers to be more careful?

Asked by Bobbilynn (565points) July 10th, 2009 from iPhone

5 teenagers died in a car crash yesterday, trying to out run a train! A 17 yr old boy was driving his 4 friends to the beach!
I have a 13 yr old boy that is entering high school that is in football and hangs around with older kids!
What could I do to ensure my sons well being?

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28 Answers

Tink's avatar

Well if you don’t want him in a car with “older” kids, just don’t let him
Some of us teens are good drivers

Bobbilynn's avatar

Tink1113, I do believe that to be true! I was also I’m 34 now tho, and realize what a life is worth, and during my teenage years I did not.

Bobbilynn's avatar

You are pretty special tho- most of his friends are not really like you!

Tink's avatar

Wait…he’s 13 and going to high school?

Bobbilynn's avatar

He will be 14 on aug 6th
he is 6 ft wears 14 size shoe! He has always gravitated towards older kids!

Tink's avatar


The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

I think parents make a mistake when they give their kids a car when they turn 16 and get their driver’s license. If a kid has to work and save up for a car, they’re less likely to make poor decisions with that car because they’ve learned that value of their car by earning it on their own.

jamielynn2328's avatar

In my city, we have had two car crashes in the last two years involving over five high-schoolers, all of them ending up deceased. In one instance, the driver was texting while driving. When I was in school I lost a friend at age 15 because he had been driving without a license and crashed into a pole.

I was never allowed in anyone’s car when I was 14. Of course I think that had more to do with my gender than my age, but my parents just didn’t trust other people. I would be extremely careful who I let my kids in the car with. If he is in the car with older kids and they are driving like fools, peer pressure could set in, kids often don’t want to be the loser or the downer, so they tend to go along with things that make them uncomfortable.

I guess the problem is that a lot of teenagers do not understand mortality. I thought that I did at 16. I thought that I knew everything actually, but time has proven that I hardly knew anything. I totaled a car at the age of 18 because of underage drinking and driving. I am lucky to be alive. I just don’t think teenagers understand the consequences of their actions.

Maybe sharing these kinds of stories with him and talking about it will help. The driving age should be higher. Although there are many responsible teens out there, there are also many that are not.

cak's avatar

Our state limits a lot of thing for teens, in regards to driving and also has graduated licensing – with all the “safeguards” in place, there are still the typical dangers of teen drivers.

Unfortunately, teenagers seem to have that, “It won’t happen to me” belief. I guess when I graduated high school, with 6 fewer friend than I started with – all because of dangerous driving, it drove the point home, for me.

As a parent, I don’t allow my daughter to get in the car with just anyone. So far, only 2 of her friends are okay for her to ride with, even that is limited. I see it as my responsibility to draw the line, when necessary.

YARNLADY's avatar

One way they use at the schools here is to show them over and over the consequences of unsafe driving. I believe in the supervision method, but parents can’t be with their kids every minute of the day.

You cannot protect them from every hazard. The best you can do is try to instill a sense of self-discipline in them. So far, more kids make it through these years than don’t, but it’s just the luck of the draw.

applesaucemanny's avatar

To get young drivers to be more careful is to make them have they’re license taken away for life if they get a ticket, that would make it safer.

Tink's avatar

^ Over exageration dude :)

applesaucemanny's avatar

@Tink1113 but it’s pretty much the only way, either they listen to instructions or they don’t I for one do listen to instructions though

Bobbilynn's avatar

I’m glad to hear thar that applesausemanny!

Tink's avatar

Well duh I know you don’t break the rules, but still take away their license?!!
That may be too much

applesaucemanny's avatar

@Tink1113 it’d be way too much for those who follow the rules but if you’re following the rules you shouldn’t have to worry

Tink's avatar

Hmm I’ll keep that in mind

marinelife's avatar

Look, it is an absolute scientific certainty that teens have not completed the development of the action and consequences circuit.

If I had a teen, this is what I would do:

1. Insist on seatbelt use (and demonstrate same).

2. Insist on no cell phone use and absolutely no texting while driving (and demonstrate same).

3. Insist the my teen have no teens (or maybe one if pre-approved) as passengers. Studies have shown that the presence of other teens in the car is directly associated with serious accidents and deaths.

4. I would take my child to an event at which the parent of a teen who died in an accident speaks or better yet a teen who survived an accident or to the funeral of a teen killed in an accident.

irocktheworld's avatar

Well there should probally be more warnings out there to keep teenagers aware
and they shouldn’t be texting or talking on cell phones while they’re driving since that is a big distraction! It can be possible if teenagers speed to get to somewhere quicker and bad things could happen but its just that they shouldnt speed and if they need 2 get somewhere,they should be on time..

cak's avatar

@Marina – lurve, great answer.

In our state, teens (up to a certain age) are only allowed to have one passenger and cannot drive after 9pm. They also cannot drive if they have anything lower than a “C” average. Texting and cell phones are a huge no-no, in fact, it can lead to a suspended license. Driver’s Ed is required – along with the “drunk driving” class -how it feels to drive drunk, and every school has a program with teens that have been injured or families that have lost teens due to reckless driving.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t completely solve the problem. The only thing that can help is the insistence of parental involvement and spot checking your child’s driving. There are other things, the seat belt, setting rules and possibly installing some type of device on the car that will record speed and distances driven.

With all of that in place, we will still lose some of our teens.

marinelife's avatar

@cak I wish every teen could absorb this article. I was already opposed to texting and driving, but I was shocked by these results. I had no idea it was this bad.

“Friends don’t let friends drive and text — that’s the message from a Car and Driver test that, on a closed course, included an iPhone, a fifth of Smirnoff and a Honda Pilot. At 35 and 70 mph, the reaction times of the drivers while texting were far worse than those, sans devices, after a few rounds of cocktails.”

irocktheworld's avatar

@Marina and @cak Your guys are soo right!!!

cak's avatar

@Marina – Wow. I’m bookmarking that for my daughter to read when she returns from vacation. It’s amazing what the impact truly can be on the driver, more amazing that people actually try to do these things.

Great link – thanks!

SirBailey's avatar

One thing we could do is set an example. Do WE speed? Go through lights? Drive under the influence? Drive without a seatbelt?

And I think stiffer fines would change a lot of behaviors, including anyone who drives and uses a cell phone (teen OR adult).

jamielynn2328's avatar

@SirBailey The city I live in is terrible when it comes to cell phone use. Most of the cops I see are on their cell phones. I recently traveled out of town and most of the tractor trailer trucks I saw, the drivers were on cell phones.

Texting scares me more though, most people must look at the phone in their laps in order to text. They aren’t even looking at the road!!

SirBailey's avatar

Frankly, I think you have to be an idiot to try to text while you drive. And just about EVERY time I see a driver do something stupid it’s because he’s on a cell phone.

Tink's avatar

It is hard to hold a phone and the wheel at the same time, I’ve never tried driving and texting but just trying to hold both things at once is hard

mattbrowne's avatar

Not being too careful at this age is an evolutionary trait, especially in young men. Other means need to be offered to be able to show courage taking calculated risks. An example would be becoming a voluntary firefighter at this age.

What also works is young mean getting headstrong girlfriends who won’t tolerate carelessly driving boyfriends make this very very clear either when driving with the men but also without.

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