Should We Restrict Teen Drivers' Access to High Powered Cars?
New York regional media are reporting a terrible tragedy from late last night. A car was speeding on the highway when it struck the guard rail and subsequently flipped over (drivers frequently react to hitting the guard rail by jerking the wheel in the opposite direction; creating the flip). Two passengers were killed and the other three are critically injured. And the entire accident was the avoidable result of several very bad decisions. The car was a Dodge Charger SRT8. With 425 horsepower and rear-wheel drive, it's hardly suited for high-speed driving in bad weather. Its owner, the driver, is a 17-year old kid with a junior license (he shouldn't have been driving the car at all under NYC law at that time of night). What's worse, the junior license was suspended. It's unclear whether the Charger SRT8 had popular summer tires. Side airbags are optional on the SRT8, though they'd have done nothing to prevent the roof from collapsing. The wrong car for the wrong person in the wrong weather. Should anything be done?
From the pictures I saw of the accident, the Dodge appeared to be wearing aftermarket shoes. As with most large aftermarket wheel purchases, I am pretty sure the kid (or mom) did not go out and choose M+S.
A few days ago we had a 19 yr old tear a VW Jetta in half while trying to pass someone on icy roads. He had a head on with an oncoming truck, killing the driver of the pickup truck. The VW driver and his passenger were airlifted and listed in critical condition. The accident tore the back half off the car, and left the engine laying in the roadway. the halves of the car landed 30 ft apart. Kids are going to drive stupid, no matter what you give them. No "HP" limit or "HP/Weight ratio" is going to fix that. Fewer video games/movies glorifying driving like a retard would be a good start
Should teenagers be given access to cars like this? No. Do we need a law stating it? No. It is up to the parents to determine what their offspring drive. These parents made a poor choice. My own children can look forward to a slow, underperforming tank, preferably with a manual transmission, as their first vehicle.