Save Our Teen Drivers

Advocating for driver's education changes. Educating the public on the problem. Finding a solution that saves lives.

Teen driver admits he should have listened to me.

Posted by lapearce on April 22, 2009

I advocate safe driving to teens all over the place. Unfortunately, one of the kids who didn’t take me seriously crashed his car last week, but in the process, he “got it”. He realized the logic behind my argument.

“I am 17 years old. I was fortunate enough to get an 2001 BMW 330ci at 17 years old. I didn’t work a day in my life to get it, but I kept my parents happy. I didn’t abuse the car, as many of you will assume about a 17 year old. In fact I took care of it like it was my baby. Being young, I had more free time on my hands to wash/wax it as well as time to do a couple maintenance things.

Since owning the car, I am guilty of the typical teenage exploring. I have goofed off in parking lots. I have gone to the 128mph limit when I thought it was safe to do. I have always heard warnings from [Lauren]. Public roads are not safe. As I said, I was confident in my driving. I felt I was fully capable of controlling a vehicle at high speeds. It wasn’t until a week ago that I finally understood what [Lauren] was talking about.

I was cruising down a long windy road doing about 60-65mph windows down for a nice drive for the first nice day of the year. I had spent 3 hours that day detailing my car before the following occurred. Approaching to a turn I got on my brakes mildly hard (allowing for additional braking if needed). Just before it starts to turn there is a bump in the road for sewage inserted after the road was already made, followed by a slightly down hill turn. Going over the bump, on the brakes, the brakes locked up for the split second before ABS kicked in. My rear end slid out. I corrected myself keeping myself from head on collision with oncoming traffic, but overcorrected. I spun out, hit a pole (luckily going with the spinning motion), and slid to a stop.

I was speeding. There is no doubt in my mind that if I had been going speed limit in the same exact situation with the road defect, my car would still be alive. As many conditions/variables are in your hands, road condition (including animals) are not, and that’s all it takes, being at the wrong place at the wrong time. My passenger was ok, but let me tell you, the 5 seconds where you nearly beg your passenger to respond that he is ok makes it not worth it. Car is replaceable. A life is not.”

Cliff notes: he thought he was a better driver than he was, thought criticism from more experianced people was misplaced, but learned we were right after he wrecked his car. He managed to learn from the experiance, but 5,000 teens every year lose their lives gaining experiance about the dangers of driving.

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