Teen Driving Video an Eye-Opener for Parents
February 13, 2007
I just watched a video on Drivers Ed Direct, courtesy of Geico, that shows teens driving with hidden cameras and no scripts. As a teen, I shouldn’t be surprised, but I’m sure a few parents will be when they see it.
The video follows four teens over the period of a few days, as they prepare for their homecoming game and prom. They’re interviewed candidly about their views on teen driving, wearing seatbelts, and speeding. The teens driving history ranges from 1 to 24 months of behind the wheel experience, and it is quite obvious that most states need graduated licensing laws, which make teens put more hours behind the wheel before being licensed.
All but one of these teens claim to be decent drivers, and while all voice concern over the lives of themselves and their passengers, their actions do not back up their words.
- Jesse admitted that at intersections, she will only “roll through” if there are no other cars. Hidden cameras caught her failing to stop at 5 stop signs during the same trip across town.
- Hidden cameras caught all teens either talking on their cell phone, high-fiving their back seat passengers, looking back at passengers, or gesturing to the point of having both hands off the wheel.
- One driver admitted she did not have a special policy about passengers wearing seat belts, and in fact, a hidden camera showed her driving around with her passenger unbelted.
- One driver admitted some of his friends did not want to ride with him. A hidden camera showed another driver’s passenger getting freaked out by the driver’s risky behavior (speeding).
- Both male drivers admitted to being aggressive drivers and engaging in road rage behaviors.
The video, which can be found on www.driverseddirect.com, ends with some scary statistics.
- 2/3 of teen passenger deaths occur while a teen is driving
- more than 1/3 of teen crashes are speed-related (2,150 each year)
- 74,000 young people die or are injured each year by not wearing a seat belt
- during their 1st year of driving, 1 out of 5 16-year-olds will have an accident
- there were 1,825,000 young people in accidents last year – 5,900 of them died
Parents beware. When your teen tells you he or she is a good driver, put your faith in them, but do frequent ride-alongs with them to evaluate their ongoing progress. Teens can always learn more about safe driving and the rules of the road with this online DMV test that contains hundreds of questions and answers from the Driver’s License manuals.