Teenagers escape Darwin's theory

A couple of days ago, I wrote about two teenage girls who were killed when the Land Rover Discovery they were driving went out of control and impaled itself on a utility pole. The point I was trying to make was that teenagers do incredibly stupid things some times, and some times they end up getting killed doing it. I’m not saying whether that’s right or wrong, merely that it is so.

This morning, I see two stories ouf of Salem, NH that reinforce that it just isn’t a Massachusetts phenomenon.

In the first, a 16-year-old boy is in critical condition with head injuries. He thought it would be fun to ride clinging to the trunk of a 17-year-old girl’s car as she drove through his development. As any number of you are already guessing, he fell off and hit his head — hard.

In the second, though, we have a fairly clear case of parental involvement. Steven Miles just turned 16, and to celebrate his brand-new driver’s license, his parents got him a car. And it was a nice “starter” car, too — a 1998 Corvette. And I doubt anyone could have foreseen him getting a buddy of his a ride and blasting around town — and ending up wrapped around a telephone pole. Both kids are in the hospital, with the driver in guarded condition — rescuers had to pry the dashboard off his legs.

Kids tend to think they’re indestructible. And every now and then, fate/God/the world/Nature decides that it’s time for a graphic reminder that it’s not so. It’s the job of parents, and adults in general, to try to help the kids learn otherwise before they learn it the expensive way.

And any parent who gives a 16-year-old a Corvette is, in this non-parent’s book, certifiably insane and unfit as a parent.

(Author’s note: links to news stories will probably expire by noonish. That’s the hazard of using an afternoon paper as a source.)

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  1. mark m October 19, 2005
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