Teen driving

Dear Editor:Here are some sobering statistics from the US Department of Transportation and the US Department of Health and Human Service: "More 15 to 24 year olds are killed in motor vehicles related crashes than those that are killed by drugs, guns and violent crimes combined" "An average of over 12 young people aged 16 to 20 are killed and another 1,000 injured in motor vehicles collisions each and every day" "Approximately 1 out of every 10 young drivers aged 16-20 will be involved in a police reported crash each year" "Over 16 young drivers are involved in fatal collisions each and every day and nearly 4,000 young drivers are involved in police-reported collisions each and every day". The reasons for these horrible statistics are varied; i.e. poor driver education training, alcohol, drugs, distractions from phones, texting or playing video games, road rage, poor decision making, et al. The sad part of this is that much of these tragedies could be prevented with training. Luckily for parents of teenagers in driving age there is something that can be done. There is an organization named Driver's Edge that states "Our mission is to save lives". They accomplish this by offering an innovative and potentially life-saving collision avoidance training programs to young drivers free of charge. Six Boy Scouts from Troop 2 in Downey participated in this training last Sunday. They experienced class-room and practical training in Driver Awareness, Vision, Vehicle Dynamics, Load Transfer, Understeer and Oversteer, Skid Control, Cornering, Braking, Road Rage, Drinking and Driving and Car Care Tips. The training was done by professional car drivers highly experienced in this field. All the participants unanimously declared that the driving exercises in high performance automobiles in a controlled environment under the proper supervision were a lot of fun and that they would do it again at the drop of a hat. I urge all parents of teenage drivers to visit www.driversedge.org to get information about this marvelous program and to register their children for the next available opportunity. Driver's Edge is a non-profit organization and public charity and solely funded by charitable donations, public grants and corporate sponsorships. Because of the great work they do (disclosure: my son was one of the participants in last Sunday training), I urge all service clubs in Downey ;i.e. Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions, Assistance League, Soroptimists et al and all philanthropically inclined people to donate money to this great organization so that they can continue doing their mission. The Downey Patriot could also contribute to this mission of saving lives by researching and publishing its findings about the Driver's Edge organization. An endorsement from the Downey Patriot will probably motivate more parents to get defensive driving training for their teenage drivers. -- Jorge Montero, Downey

********** Published: April 21, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 1