Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Deadly 16

When I moved back to the Midwest from NYC several years ago, I was immediately reacquainted with the insanity of teen drivers. They blow past Stop signs, speed thru residential areas and parking lots, are an absolute fucking menace on the interstate, and generally try to push their parents' cars and SUVs past NASCAR limits. And when they are drinking . . . well, my best friend back in the day, Bob Hoffmeyer, was killed by a drunk teen in a pick-up. The kid lived (apparently, later in life, he asked for and received forgiveness from Bob's parents), but that's not always the case. In any event, drunk or sober, teen drivers, esp 16-year-olds, are extremely dangerous.

USA Today pubbed an interesting article on teen drivers. Two things hit me: 1) "The part of the brain that weighs risks and controls impulsive behavior isn't fully developed until about age 25, according to the National Institutes of Health. Some state legislators and safety activists question whether 16-year-olds should be licensed to drive." And 2) the majority of teen auto fatalities are in (drumroll . . .) the South! "Highway safety officials from Southern states, including Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, say lax enforcement of speeding or alcohol laws and many rural, tree-lined roads that provide little margin for error make their states deadlier for young drivers."

More valuable contributions from our Red State friends. They really are the backbone of America.