Teens are only dangerous drivers

Published 12:51 am Wednesday, April 20, 2005

By Staff
I was reading a letter to the editor in a newspaper Monday morning and one letter caught my eye.
The woman who wrote the letter was saying 16-year-old drivers were dangerous. She said that 16-year-olds drive too fast and should not be allowed to drive unsupervised. Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't 15-year-olds already supervised? Isn't that why teenagers across the state get a learner's permit?
I do not disagree with her that new drivers scare me to death, especially when I see them chatting on a cell phone, fiddling with the CD player and swerving all over the road.
The woman went on to cite a few statistics from USA Today, which said 16-year-old kids are far worse drivers than those who are 19 and 20. Well, to me that statement means drivers get better with age. Or does it?
I cannot count the number of times I have seen a man shaving in the car, a woman putting makeup on her face, even somebody reading the newspaper. All of them were interstate drivers and well over the age of 16.
Where is their supervision?
I remember reading articles awhile back about senior citizens who were climbing into cars and running people down, smashing into parked cars and more. All of them were accidents. Shouldn't they be supervised, too?
According to the National Safety Council approximately 20 million drivers – nearly 10 percent of all U.S. drivers – will be in an auto accident this year.
I am by far, not a great driver. In fact, most of my accidents occurred when I was 16 and 17-years-old. However, lack of supervision would not have stopped my accidents. Also, I was one of the few who never drove when I got my permit. I was terrified to drive.
Maybe the best suggestion would be to require young drivers to get a permit and use that supervision, rather than offer another year of supervision.
Turning 16 is a huge rite of passage, and everyone is prone to getting into an auto accident. Supervision at that age is not going to stop an accident from occurring. Just open your eyes, obey the speed limit and stop multi-tasking in the car.
A news release from Response Insurance said it best:
Although responsible drivers try to avoid getting into auto accidents, even the best of drivers can have bad luck behind the wheel.
Mary-Allison Lancaster may be reached at mlancaster@brewtonstandard.com or 25.867.4876.