Teen drivers put pressure on themselves…and their family
As a parent we all want the best for our kids. We do our best to raise them and show them what’s right and what’s wrong. They also learn these things in school and also in other organizations such as Scouts, sports and community volunteer organizations. Is that enough? When does raising our kids stop?
I recently read where an 18 year old was caught doing 137 km/h in and 80 km/h zone. The vehicle was impounded for a week, the driver’s license was suspended and we all know the insurance will now skyrocket. This event took place during 4:30 in the afternoon during rush hour traffic. What was their hurry during that time anyway? Was it just a joyride? Only they will know, but what a mistake they made. http://www.thespec.com/news-story/4158264-stoney-creek-teen-charged-with-stunt-driving/
Other than the highway traffic act charges laid by the police, the $2000 fine usually imposed on a charge like this, the higher insurance premiums for the entire family and the demerit points for the driver, the other mistake was they used their family vehicle and now have affected their family immensely. The “wrath of mom or dad” can have a huge effect on teens. How will the parents of this teen handle this situation internally? I can’t really say how I would handle it as it hasn’t happened to me, but I can pretty much imagine… and hope.
For years people have asked for the driving age to increase from 16 to 18. That wouldn’t have helped here. The driver was 18. What would have helped to avoid having this driver travel 57 km/h over the speed limit? Was peer pressure involved? Did he have passengers that encouraged him to travel that fast? All questions that teens need to discuss with their family. They need to know they can discuss these things openly with their family.
Sometimes the temptation of driving a powerful vehicle to the extreme weighs on people. They want to see how fast they can get it. There is a solution for speed; go to a race track or go-cart track and have fun. This keeps you much safer as there are safety issues enforced throughout the entire track. There are people there who are also able to help and keep you safe. It’s a controlled environment. Driving 57 km/h over the speed limit with the risk of someone suddenly pulling out in front of you is not a controlled environment.
As a dad of four kids, my oldest almost ready to drive alone, I often think about situations like this. Would my kids do this? I would certainly hope not, but I do know what peer pressure can do for many people. It “forces” us to do things we wouldn’t normally do. I do hope we’ve taught our kids enough about values that would make them think twice about driving that way. I spend time enforcing each decision my kids make could have repercussions that they will be responsible for. If they have done something that affects others, they are held accountable. It helps to teach them respect for others. Did this 18 year old have respect for themselves, the vehicle, their family or others on the road?