I was just getting the hang of telling my 15 year old he had to wear his bike helmet, and now I am getting ready to hand him the keys to my car. SCARY!!!

The facts!

  • Car crashes are the #1 cause of death among American teenagers.1
  • Over the last decade, more than 68,000 teens have died in car crashes, which is 10,000 more than the total number of Americans who died during the Vietnam War.2
  • More than 6,000 teens died in car crashes in the United States in 2003, and more than 500,000 suffered life-altering injuries.2
  • The per-mile fatality rate for 16- to 19-year-olds is four times that of adults.2
  • Teenagers make up 10% of the U.S. population, but are involved in 20% of all reported crashes and suffer 14% of all vehicular fatalities.2
  • Nearly half of all fatal car crashes involving teen drivers are single-car crashes. Teens are more likely than any other age group to be involved in a single-car crash.2
  • One-third of all fatal accidents involving teen drivers are caused by speed.3
  • The accident rate among teen drivers doubles when the number of passengers in the car increases from two to three.2
  • 61% of fatally injured teen passengers were killed in cars driven by teens.2
  • More than 60% of teens killed in car accidents were not wearing seat belts.2
  • 53% of all teen deaths due to car accidents occur during weekends.2
  • 41% of fatal crashes involving teens occur between 9 PM and 6 AM.2
  • The first 1,000 hours behind the wheel are the most dangerous for teenagers.2
  • In Virginia alone, 92,000 new drivers receive their licenses each year – most of them are teens.4

Pretty scary stuff.

After researching all this, I am seriously considering making him ride his bike the rest of his life. Who needs a car? We have buses, trains, and he has no problem walking to meet his buddies at the Mexican restaurant a mile or so from home and walking is great exercise!

I once was a new driver, and maybe that’s why I am so worried. Please, please do not do the same things I did many moons ago. I hope and I pray he is more responsible than I was.