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by Dan Blankenship
When I was a teenage driver, I had three car accidents. Two of them were actually caused by my careless driving, and one I probably could have avoided if I had been watching out for the other careless driver.
Teenage drivers have been a hot topic for the last twenty years. Some states have considered raising the age at which people can legally drive a vehicle. I don’t support such a measure, but I do believe something has to be done to curb the aggressive driving tactics of some teenagers behind the wheel.
A recent study by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development showed that both male and female teen drivers were more likely to speed if another male teenager was along for the ride. I doubt most teenagers would argue with the study’s findings. After all, who wants to be teased about driving like a grandma? Yes, the NICHD claimed the results of their study found no conclusive answers as to exactly why having a male passenger caused both male and female drivers to throw caution to the wind, but we all know it is the “driving like a grandma” factor. No one, especially a teenage wants to be so accused.
“Driving like a grandma.” Is that really such a bad thing? I mean, exactly what is wrong with driving the posted speed limit, staying a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you, or actually making sure there is plenty of space to merge onto a highway? It’s not cool, that’s what’s wrong with it. Teenagers, even Christian teenagers, have been brought up in a “fast and furious” society.
Cars are no longer tools to get from point-A to point-B anymore. They are an extension of one’s personality, often stretching parents’ pocketbooks further than their budget should allow. Can’t drive a “grandma’s car” either. Could there be anything more embarrassing?
There are reasons grandmas get to be grandmas. And one of those reasons is safe driving. That should be enough incentive to ignore the urge to impress other teens that may be along for the ride.
No matter how much Hollywood tries to glamorize reckless driving, there is nothing glamorous about being involved in a serious car accident.
James 1:5 (NIV) tells us that, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” So if you are a teenage driver letting others influence your safety on the road, perhaps a little prayer and reading of God’s word can lead you to a knowledgeable solution.
Peer pressure in school or at home can often lead to serious trouble. Peer pressure within the confines of an automobile can sometimes lead to death. Ask God to give you the words to explain why you choose to drive in a safe manner. Hopefully, passengers in the car you are driving are mature enough to accept the good choice you’ve made. If not, suggest they find another form of transportation.
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