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Old 05-24-08, 08:45 AM   #1
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The Staggering Cost of Teen Driving

This is from today's feed on MSN, I only quoted part of the article, click for the link with pictures:

http://editorial.autos.msn.com/artic...umentid=498409

Accidents involving teen drivers cost more than $34 billion in ’06.
By Doug Newcomb

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among 16- to 19-year-olds than among any other age group.

Ask any parent who has just added a kid to the family’s insurance policy and they’ll tell you how expensive it is to have a teen behind the wheel. But the overall cost of teen driving is as tragic as it is staggering. According to a recent report from AAA, car accidents involving drivers 15 to 17 cost society more than $34 billion in medical expenses, property damage and related costs in 2006.

This massive figure includes $9.8 billion related to fatal crashes, and double that amount ($20.5 billion), connected with non-fatal crashes, while property damage losses made up the remaining $4.1 billion. But there are, of course, more heartbreaking and incalculable losses behind with these numbers.

SoberingStats
According to an analysis conducted for AAA, in 2006 drivers ages 15 to 17 were involved in approximately 974,000 crashes that injured 406,427 people and killed 2,541. Here are more sobering statistics:

According for The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among U.S. teens, accounting for 36 percent of all deaths in the age group.
The risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among 16- to 19-year-olds than among any other age group, and per-miles-driven teens ages 16 to 19 are four times more likely than older drivers to crash, says the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Risk is highest at age 16, and the crash rate per miles driven is twice as high for 16 year olds as it is for 18 and 19 year olds, according to the IIHS.
IIHS statistics show that 16- and 17-year-old driver death rates increase with each additional passenger.
According to teensafety.com, 1 in 3 teenage drivers has an accident in the first year of receiving a license, and a teenager is injured in a car crash every 55 seconds and killed every 6.5 minutes.
More Soccer Instruction
According to carcontrol.com, the average 16-year-old soccer player has had 1,500 hours of coached practice, while only 50 hours of driving experience as required in Ohio for a driver’s license. That didn’t surprise Becky Ackford, media and communications coordinator with The Mid-Ohio School in Dublin, Ohio, which offers a Honda Teen Defensive Driving Program. “It’s just another example of how essential teen-driver training is,” she says. “As a kid, we had soccer practice three days a week. But many of the kids in Ohio cheat on those 50 hours of training by getting their parents to sign off without checking that they’ve completed them.”...
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Old 05-24-08, 09:21 AM   #2
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This why I have long contended lowering the drinking age to 16 and raising the driving age to 21. Every time someone suggests strengthening the licensing requirements in the US it brings howls of protest from many quarters. But teen driving, like DUI is a socially accepted cost in the US

Besides...didn't you know that driving in the US is "A RIGHT"

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Old 05-24-08, 09:42 AM   #3
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I disagree with the conclusion drawn by Becky Ackford. I think it's a clear indication that kids shouldn't be driving at 16. Their brains aren't fully developed yet, in particular the parts that control reasoning and decision making.

My son is 16, will be 17 in October. He does not have a driver's license and will not as long as I have control over that. For me it's a presonal decision, I know that he is not ready to drive. Some are, most aren't. It's difficult to maintain that position when they offer driver's ed at school, which requires a learner's permit to complete some portions of. We've not done that either, but it becomes expected because, like so many other things, society is dictating how parents are supposed to raise their kids. Society takes the decision making out of the hands of the parent and then holds the parent responsible for the kid's actions.

And no, my son has never been in trouble with the law or put my feet to the fire in any other way, he's a good kid. He's just not ready to drive.
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Old 05-24-08, 09:50 AM   #4
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I disagree with the conclusion drawn by Becky Ackford. I think it's a clear indication that kids shouldn't be driving at 16. Their brains aren't fully developed yet, in particular the parts that control reasoning and decision making.
But that is also true for 18 year olds and 21 year olds. Do you really want to raise the driving age to 25? When I was 16 I had a part time job as a software quality assurance technician. I could not have commuted to that job without a driver's license, and I would not have been encouraged to get my Bachelor's degree in Computer Science if I had not had that job. Also, I think being able to hold down a job and get good grades in school is exactly the type of lesson young people need. It is exactly the type of thing they SHOULD be doing while their brain is developing.

Remember, you can join the military at 17 in this country... even in the EU you can join at 18.
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Old 05-24-08, 11:33 AM   #5
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But that is also true for 18 year olds and 21 year olds. Do you really want to raise the driving age to 25? When I was 16 I had a part time job as a software quality assurance technician. I could not have commuted to that job without a driver's license, and I would not have been encouraged to get my Bachelor's degree in Computer Science if I had not had that job. Also, I think being able to hold down a job and get good grades in school is exactly the type of lesson young people need. It is exactly the type of thing they SHOULD be doing while their brain is developing.

Remember, you can join the military at 17 in this country... even in the EU you can join at 18.

Very good points. A more effective approach would be a graduated system of licensed operation. Permitted behavior based on age and experience. More frequent testing. Stricter penalties for early infractions.

A big factor in teen driving is just what you alluded to, the parent. This is where the young driver will learn the meaning of responsibility. Parents who just toss the keys to the kid, or worse yet, buy the kid a car are a big source of the problem.

My parents let me use the car whenever I wanted as a youth. I had a job, was active in sports and showed the responsibility. I paid my share of the insurance cost, fuel for the car. On the flip side, my step-children were limited in their usage as they just seemed to want to drive aimlessly around.
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Old 05-24-08, 12:01 PM   #6
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As a proud dad of two adult children who are contributing members of society...My pet peeve is the parents that purchase a brand new car for boopsie to drive the minute they get their license. Quite often these cars are inappropriate for teens to be driving PERIOD!

My two both got their licenses at 16, however neither one was driving unsupervised for at least a year and when they did drive unsupervised it was greatly restricted to need. My son had borrowed one of our family sedans to haul some stuff to college his second year. He was involved in a relative minor accident on campus that totaled the car. HE chose not to have access to another car on campus until his senior year when he signed up for Zipcar. Now he is in the UK and still prefers mass transit to driving. He does drive, but considers it a major chore. His sister who is 17 months younger has her own car that she paid for, maintains and has driven across country. She will use mass transit if available, but given her school location and her job field it is not usually feasible.

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Old 05-24-08, 12:42 PM   #7
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i started driving at 14 around my town i can drive better than most people my age. its not that the teaching is wrong but they need more behind the wheel experience and half of the jackass teen drivers out there have jackass parents that drive the same way.

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Old 05-24-08, 01:49 PM   #8
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But that is also true for 18 year olds and 21 year olds. Do you really want to raise the driving age to 25? When I was 16 I had a part time job as a software quality assurance technician. I could not have commuted to that job without a driver's license, and I would not have been encouraged to get my Bachelor's degree in Computer Science if I had not had that job. Also, I think being able to hold down a job and get good grades in school is exactly the type of lesson young people need. It is exactly the type of thing they SHOULD be doing while their brain is developing.

Remember, you can join the military at 17 in this country... even in the EU you can join at 18.
You can drive a tank, but some people don't want you even driving a car...

Anyway, for those that argue inexperience, you don't get it by not experiencing stuff, and for those that argue age and maturity, you don't mature without responsibility.

Anyway at 21, putting on more miles than your average young adult, has no marks on my driving record, pulled over once after I bought a car due to registration not being in the window, and have never come into contact with anything. Sure I'll nibble on the idea of having steeper punishments, but I'm tired of this pre-accident discrimination I typically get because of my age, I pay more, I deal with more people thinking "ugh a kid on the road", etc. etc. Though I have a better per-mile-driving record than probably a lot of adults, and it's 95% city driving, which is way more accident prone than freeway driving.

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Old 05-24-08, 02:06 PM   #9
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Very good points. A more effective approach would be a graduated system of licensed operation. Permitted behavior based on age and experience. More frequent testing. Stricter penalties for early infractions.

A big factor in teen driving is just what you alluded to, the parent. This is where the young driver will learn the meaning of responsibility. Parents who just toss the keys to the kid, or worse yet, buy the kid a car are a big source of the problem.

My parents let me use the car whenever I wanted as a youth. I had a job, was active in sports and showed the responsibility. I paid my share of the insurance cost, fuel for the car. On the flip side, my step-children were limited in their usage as they just seemed to want to drive aimlessly around.
Add to this idea a longer and better education for driving. Driving and road use is a lifelong activity and yet it is no part of our current regular school curricula. "Road Use" should be the "4th R." At least one semester, if not two, should be devoted to proper road use and the ethics involved. Even better, at a younger age, proper bike use should be part of the elementary school level...

I know that time and time again we have compared European cycling to American cycling... yet few folks bother to look into the system of cycling education provided in parts of Europe... not to mention the far stricter requirements for a driver's license.
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Old 05-24-08, 06:08 PM   #10
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Besides...didn't you know that driving in the US is "A RIGHT"
you didn't know that? hey, not only is driving a right here, but American drivers have the right to drive ANYWHERE THEY ****ING WANT TO, including in bike lanes, on sidewalks, through buildings etc. cause this is America dammit!

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Old 05-24-08, 07:10 PM   #11
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i remember looking at 'my death space' and was astonished at how many teens die in accidents. Not surprised, but just horrified. Lots of other stupid accidents, and of course murders and suicides and gun deaths. But car accidents were far and away the most common.
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Old 05-24-08, 07:40 PM   #12
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Anyway, for those that argue inexperience, you don't get it by not experiencing stuff, and for those that argue age and maturity, you don't mature without responsibility.
Very true. I got my initial road experience on a bike. I was expected to follow the rules of the road (signal, stop at stop signs etc) and I wasn't allowed to bike places alone til I'd demonstrated that I could.

My parents then found themselves in the unenviable position of having a teenager who didn't want to drive. I could get where I wanted to go (the library and work) by bike or walking. I thought (and still think) cars were dangerous and I wanted no part of them. My cheapskate teenage self also thought car insurance was a horrifically expensive scam. So I was *required* to learn to drive and my parents subsidized my insurance costs. I ended up not getting a license til I was 18.

(turns out it didn't work so well for getting me to drive... I haven't driven in about 3 years and am now carfree . I'm always happy to tinker on cars, since car repair is fun. Driving mostly isn't.)

Thing is, you and I are not typical of teenagers. For every one of me, there's a teen like my brother. He was responsible for 2 car accidents before he was old enough to drive, and has had at least 5 more. About his only saving grace is he's never hurt anyone. That's *really* not typical of someone who has such a rough learning curve. (and no, he didn't get the same subsidy from mom and dad... *he* wanted to learn and didn't need any encouragement) He's better on a bike, but that's only because he can't go as fast.
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Old 05-24-08, 10:39 PM   #13
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Thing is, you and I are not typical of teenagers. For every one of me, there's a teen like my brother. He was responsible for 2 car accidents before he was old enough to drive, and has had at least 5 more. About his only saving grace is he's never hurt anyone. That's *really* not typical of someone who has such a rough learning curve. (and no, he didn't get the same subsidy from mom and dad... *he* wanted to learn and didn't need any encouragement) He's better on a bike, but that's only because he can't go as fast.
Yeah I"m just mainly frustrated with the fact that I'm stuck with part of the bill for other's stupidity. I don't get any cuts regardless of mileage or perfect driving record, including having a driving JOB.
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Old 05-24-08, 11:07 PM   #14
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Yeah I"m just mainly frustrated with the fact that I'm stuck with part of the bill for other's stupidity. I don't get any cuts regardless of mileage or perfect driving record, including having a driving JOB.

Ahhh stop you're whining!
You've got your youth, what else could your ungrateful ass want?
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Old 05-25-08, 12:39 AM   #15
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My son is 16, will be 17 in October. He does not have a driver's license and will not as long as I have control over that. For me it's a presonal decision, I know that he is not ready to drive. Some are, most aren't. It's difficult to maintain that position when they offer driver's ed at school, which requires a learner's permit to complete some portions of. We've not done that either, but it becomes expected because, like so many other things, society is dictating how parents are supposed to raise their kids. Society takes the decision making out of the hands of the parent and then holds the parent responsible for the kid's actions.

And no, my son has never been in trouble with the law or put my feet to the fire in any other way, he's a good kid. He's just not ready to drive.
My parents made a similar decision. While I had my learner's permit at 15, and could therefore practice driving with one of my parents present, I was not fully licensed until I was 18, and able to sign for myself. My first car? While it was partial gift, at high school graduation time, I had to pay for half of it, as well as the gasoline. I did not feel slighted, and in fact thought the ones who got their licenses early, and had their cars given to them, were spoiled brats.
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Old 05-25-08, 09:25 AM   #16
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I disagree with the conclusion drawn by Becky Ackford. I think it's a clear indication that kids shouldn't be driving at 16. Their brains aren't fully developed yet, in particular the parts that control reasoning and decision making.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontl...eenbrain/view/
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Old 05-25-08, 09:42 AM   #17
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I recall that some states -- Georgia? -- recently altered the privileges that a young licensed driver possesses with an immediate impact -- statistically and meaningfully significant -- on auto mortality and injury statistics. Raising the driving age, limited the hours and range that they can drive, the number of passengers, and so on all seem to be on the table. The context for the articles is recent MD (maybe just Montgomery County, MD) legislation regarding teen drivers. Apparently, there was quite a bit of resistance from parents when the Georgia (assuming that I have the state correct) legislation was proposed and passed. But the empirical results have quashed the complaints.

I also recall recent articles and stories of insurance companies giving discounts for parents that install monitoring devices on cars that teenagers drive. Typically this includes some alert when the car accelerates, decelerates, or has a velocity beyond, some threshold. Some seem to install a little camera in the car such that one can observe what the driver was doing at the time of the incident.
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Old 05-25-08, 02:24 PM   #18
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Ahhh stop you're whining!
You've got your youth, what else could your ungrateful ass want?
Money = Time, I'm wasting my youth on other's irresponsibility.
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Old 05-25-08, 03:35 PM   #19
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Yeah, i've been using that report, which can be found at http://www.aaanewsroom.net/main/Defa...&ArticleID=596. It states that the societal cost of car wrecks is two and a half times that of congestion. In Anchorage, AK, car wrecks cost $0.44 per vehicle mile traveled.
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Old 05-26-08, 03:15 PM   #20
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I'm not sure this is really an age issue. I think it's more a matter of experience. I firmly believe that if the driving age was bumped up to, say, 25, then we'd see the same sort of reports about 25-28 year-old drivers simply because they don't have experience. You don't magically become good at driving when you hit a certain age if you don't have any actual experience driving.

When I was in high school (not too long ago, graduated in '07) I was required to take a semester of driver's ed when I was a sophomore to meet my graduation requirements. This was before I was even able to get my permit, let alone my license, and I think learning the rules of the road and other safe driving tid-bits helped immensely. Of course, the next year they scrapped the driver's ed. requirement, and the year after that they scrapped the class altogether. I think this is a HUGE mistake, since there's going to be even more unexperienced drivers out there.

As an aside: we spent a good amount of time in driver's ed talking about bicycle safety, and it was made very clear what laws were regarding cycling and what was expected of us, as drivers, to share the road as safely as possible.
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Old 05-27-08, 06:56 PM   #21
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as a licensed teen driver i can safely say that i only drive when I absoulutly need to, both because I realize the risk it can pose and gas is insane.

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Old 05-27-08, 11:46 PM   #22
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I turned 25 in March and am now saving bundles on my car insurance. I've been in two accidents, both of which weren't my fault. I've also been driving since I was 16.

Personally, I think if parents raised their kids with sports which required self discipline, heightened reactions, and more awareness (specifically martial arts), we would have better teen drivers. I started fencing when I was 10 or 11 and I feel it contributed to my skills as a competent driver.

That said, I have far more problems on the road, both on my bike and my car, with elderly drivers than with teens (even texting ones).
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Old 05-28-08, 12:41 AM   #23
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Virtually every single stupid thing I did behind the wheel of a car, I did before my 21st birthday. And most of them were before my 18th birthday.

Now, had I been killed in a car crash at any point during my youth, I do not think that it would have been because of a lack of experience. Driving a car is not that difficult as long as one is attentive and and aware of the fact that their car is not a toy.

What makes teen driving dangerous is not a driver's lack of experience, but rather recklessness and irresponsibility behind the wheel. No amount of driver's training or supervised experience on the road will change that. The only thing that will change that is age.
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Old 05-28-08, 02:51 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by MrCjolsen View Post
Virtually every single stupid thing I did behind the wheel of a car, I did before my 21st birthday. And most of them were before my 18th birthday.

Now, had I been killed in a car crash at any point during my youth, I do not think that it would have been because of a lack of experience. Driving a car is not that difficult as long as one is attentive and and aware of the fact that their car is not a toy.

What makes teen driving dangerous is not a driver's lack of experience, but rather recklessness and irresponsibility behind the wheel. No amount of driver's training or supervised experience on the road will change that. The only thing that will change that is age.
Lack of experience, recklessness (sense of immortality, if you will) and irresponsibility ALL are part of the same equation when it comes to teen drivers. We had a wreck in our local area a couple of weeks ago, where a newly permitted (less than 2 hours!) driver was killed along with her mother when she made a bonehead move on the Interstate during rush hour and the car was crushed by a fully loaded cement mixer. Her twin sister survived.

Aaron
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Old 05-28-08, 01:32 PM   #25
Hickeydog
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Originally Posted by nahh View Post
as a licensed teen driver i can safely say that i only drive when I absoulutly need to, both because I realize the risk it can pose and gas is insane.
Exactly. I am also a licensed teen driver and I HATE DRIVING WITH A PASSION. I would much rather get on my bike and ride than get into a steel cage and just sit and do nothing. I don't mind riding in cars as much, but god I hate driving.

Plus I can laugh at all the people filling up when I ride past the gas stations..
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What's frightening is how coherent Hickey was in posting that.
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