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Author Topic: A Bad Weekend in MN  (Read 2539 times)

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Offline Gary_C

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A Bad Weekend in MN
« on: April 27, 2010, 10:10:30 PM »
This past weekend 14 people died it traffic accidents just in Minnesota, 8 of them teenagers.

The worst one where 4 teens died there was alcohol involved and only the 16 year old driver who had her license for 3 weeks survived and also she was the only one wearing a seatbelt.

There was one young gal alone that pulled out in front of another vehicle and did not survive that mistake.

And three teenage girls, none wearing a seatbelt died when the driver lost control of a pickup and they rolled. No alcohol involved but authorities are still uncertain about the cause of that rollover.

Last summer I was elected to take one of my grandaughters for her (first) driving test and a little practice before the test. She is a reasonably good driver as far as being able to drive and control the vehicle but her defensive driving abilities are scary, like most teenagers. She will drive headlong into a trouble spot and never slow down. Those teens just have no anticipation for danger on the road ahead. She drew a older lady that just barked orders to her during her test and she got nervous and failed. Course her backing and parallel parking was not up to snuff at that time either. I kept telling her that backing and parking was not a race, just take your time.

My grandaughter has survived her first year and is doing better now, but these teenage drivers are sure a worry. Three schools in the state are shutdown after these three accidents and hopefully it will be a reminder to the remaining teens to be careful on the highways, especially with prom season ahead.
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Offline Dan_Shade

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Re: A Bad Weekend in MN
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2010, 10:35:39 PM »
:(

I lost three friends in a car accident when I was in high school.  three very promising lives were snuffed out because of the driver's inexperience.

Let's be careful out there, and try to encourage our young friends to be careful too.
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Offline beenthere

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Re: A Bad Weekend in MN
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2010, 02:03:17 AM »
.............but her defensive driving abilities are scary, like most teenagers. She will drive headlong into a trouble spot and never slow down. Those teens just have no anticipation for danger on the road ahead. .........

My take on these "headlong into a trouble spot" with new drivers, is they have grown up riding in a car where they see these situations but they always "take care of themselves" (because someone else was driving the car).  Took me four kids getting licenses to finally figure a little of this out. It is a scary time in their lives (and frightful in mine).

I like the laws we have now that new drivers are restricted to who can ride with them their first few months of having a new license. Too many distractions (and most of us can relate to those distractions very well, I suspect). Now with texting and phones, some new ones.  I was very lucky to live through many a teenage driving experience. There were many that prolly shouldn't have gone my way.  ::) ::)
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Offline Norm

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Re: A Bad Weekend in MN
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2010, 07:54:20 AM »
Both my sons got school permits that allowed them to drive to school and back starting at 14. We made them drive with us for a year before they were allowed to go out on their own. So at 16 when they got the real license they had 2 years of practice under their belt.

The only incident was Joel put his car in the ditch on a gravel road while going too fast. He got the pleasure of riding the school bus for a couple of months to enforce the butt chewing he endured from his mom and dad.

I don't believe in having them taught to drive by the school. It's just not enough practice and learning for kids before they have the keys handed to them.

Offline Magicman

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Re: A Bad Weekend in MN
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2010, 08:33:02 AM »
This weekend was bad here also.  We lost one, one critical, and another is critical and lost a foot.  May lose the other foot.  Just young foolish mistakes.  No alcohol. 
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Offline Onthesauk

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Re: A Bad Weekend in MN
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2010, 03:34:02 PM »
My Dad was a Grayhound driver back in the 40's.  I grew up with him harping at me, "It's not your ability to get out of a bad spot but your avoiding the bad spot in the first place!"  Sank in as I got older.  And a lot of truth in it. ;D
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Offline Ernie

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Re: A Bad Weekend in MN
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2010, 03:54:26 PM »
Teaching my kids how to drive.  I drummed into their heads that everyone else on the road is a complete and unpredictable idiot who is liable to do anything at any time.  It seemed to have worked they have been driving for between 15 and 20 years and a lot of close calls but  no major accidents, thank the Lord.

We have a lot of tourists in New Zealand most of whom come from left hand drive vehicle countries.  They have a propensity for driving on the wrong side of the road as we are right hand drive so the unpredictable idiot thing is really quite apt.  When you combine that with the teenage, and older, binge drinking culture of NZ its a recipe for disaster.
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Offline Chuck White

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Re: A Bad Weekend in MN
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2010, 09:12:48 AM »
Seems to happen all the time.

So many teenagers just feel that they already know everything.

We're a little concerned at this time because we have a 16 year old daughter that just recently got her permit and she has "read the book"!
We went a step further though, we enrolled her in a defensive driving course, to take place this summer.

God willing it will make a difference.
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Offline Kansas

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Re: A Bad Weekend in MN
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2010, 07:47:15 AM »


We have a lot of tourists in New Zealand most of whom come from left hand drive vehicle countries.  They have a propensity for driving on the wrong side of the road as we are right hand drive so the unpredictable idiot thing is really quite apt.  When you combine that with the teenage, and older, binge drinking culture of NZ its a recipe for disaster.
The only place I have ever driven is in the States. I cannot imagine driving on the left side of the road. I always wondered how someone could switch sides. On a wide open highway, maybe. But in a town or city,with multiple turns, etc? I wouldn't want to try it.

Offline John Bartley

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Re: A Bad Weekend in MN
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2010, 08:07:59 AM »
My take on how young drivers are trained is that they seem to be taught to be afraid by teaching them defensive driving (no offense intended to Chuck - it's all we've got available right now). They aren't taught "how to drive", but rather how to start, stop and steer. They are never taught how to pass at speed, never made to practice in normal, everyday high speed traffic, they are not made to train and practice at night, and they aren't trained to drive with the sort of distractions coming at them that they will face on the road.

In Ontario we have "graduated licensing". I have never understood how "time", other than thru' accumulated personal experience,  is going to make them a safer driver, and the year or two that they spend getting thru' the graduated license process is not enough time to accumulate that much experience.

When I learned to fly we obtained our licenses by being proficient. Age had nothing to do with it. We were able to start flying at 14 and could fly solo long before we could drive. The reason for that was that we had demonstrated to a qualified examiner that we had the necessary skill to survive in the air.

It seems to me that driving privileges, in similar fashion to flying privileges, should be based entirely on skill, and not at all on age.  We should be required demonstrate ability in "everyday situations", not just in residential traffic on a Wednesday afternoon. Skid school should be mandatory, as should high speed maneuvers (passing, stopping etc) and if you want to drive in snow, or at night, your license should reflect that acquired skill level.

Does it sound harsh? yes, but if we could save lives, and also reduce the insurance, environmental and human suffering cost of having minimally qualified drivers on the road, we'd all benefit.

Just my $0.02

cheers

John
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Offline Warbird

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Re: A Bad Weekend in MN
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2010, 10:57:31 AM »
I made the following 2 posts about a terrible accident that recently happened here, just down the highway from my home.  It involved a young driver and a couple of extremely poor choices.  I would have posted it here if I'd seen this thread first.

https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php/topic,44018.msg634402.html#msg634402

https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php/topic,44018.msg634588.html#msg634588

IMO, too many American teens are not taught enough respect for driving a vehicle.  In a sense, they are in control of a 2000+ pound bullet.  Or they simply do not have the cognitive ability yet to understand the responsibility they are accepting.  I certainly didn't when I started driving.  It was by the grace of God I didn't cause something like this a few times myself.

Offline TimRB

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Re: A Bad Weekend in MN
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2010, 11:12:46 AM »
I cannot imagine driving on the left side of the road. I always wondered how someone could switch sides. On a wide open highway, maybe. But in a town or city,with multiple turns, etc?

I did a fair amount of it when we visited Australia, and while it is bizarre at first, it's not so bad as you might think.  That said, the best advice we got on the matter (ironically from an Australian friend who was visiting us in the States) was that if you are driving in a busy city and suddenly decide that you don't know what you're doing, pick a car and follow it until you get to someplace where you can stop and collect your wits.

Tim


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