Road Safety – Teens and Cars

My father taught me how to drive. And he was also a drunk driver, so I learned to weave and drift across three lanes at an early age. He’d set his beer can on the center of the dashboard and no joke, say “Now line that up with the edge of the road.” Then he’d climb over into the backseat and pass out. I learned to drive when I was 8 years old. If this were the case, in 2013, Child Protective Services would be my “Dad.” I’ve been told that CPS will also babysit for free …and they will do it for many, many years.

We also had driver education when I was in high school. It was part of our curriculum. Now, you typically have to take it from an outside school, at a whopping cost of $300 to $500. And, I’m sure it’s better than being taught by a drunk parent (or, what I like to call an authoritative figure that slurs). But teaching someone “evasive” driving is much like being taught “acting.” It cannot be taught…it can only be felt. Meaning, they can teach you all of the “textbook” evasive moves (how to recover from a skid, how to avoid an obstacle without rolling your car, what to do when your car is hydroplaning, etc.) but, until you actually experience those things, what you’ve been taught means very little. That’s where The Drivers Edge comes in, teaching kids, ages 15-25, road safety. And, considering, with the high mortality rate due to inexperience (the main cause for collisions), they actually teach them hands-on evasive driving. You can check out their website and register for a free course when they do their annual national tour. Drivers Edge

Man, things have really changed since I was a young driver but one thing has not, teens and cars are still a bad combination, there’s no doubt about that. But, when I was learning to drive, there were no unmarked police cars, with the lights in the grille of the car or behind the tinted back window.  Now, you don’t realize it’s a police car until you pass them, doing 90 mph and they “light you up” (which sounds like fun…being lit up…but it’s not fun). When I was a teenager, the lights were always on top of the police cars. Even if someone was following behind you with a luggage rack on top of their car, at night, it looked like it could be a cop and your heart would be pounding away in your chest. Actually, that may have been paranoia from partying too much. And tickets didn’t look like a WalMart receipt when I was a kid. It was just a small ticket and on the backside, it listed what your fine would be for each mile over the speed limit. And the price of the ticket wasn’t crazy expensive like they are now. The maximum amount of the fine was $50. And that was for manslaughter…you can’t even afford to kill someone anymore…it’s the economy.  Remember…always blame everything on the economy.

Until next week…be safe.

Daun Thompson
Comedienne / Artist / Writer

Teens and cars