|My favorite comic strip about teenagers: "Zits" by Scott and Borgman|
So maybe I'm not exactly a fantastic driver yet, but I discovered that there may be bonafide explanations for this. I read an artical called Teenage Brains in National Geographic about how teenage brains function. (And we all know that National Geographic is a real authority on stuff like this.) The article lists two main reasons as to why we teens do the seemingly (and sometimes actually) stupid, stupid things we do -- you know, texting while driving, DUI (not me, but teens in general), speeding, etc. The first: our brains are half-baked! Of course kiddie noggins don't just poof into adult minds, but evidence of brain maturation can actually be physically seen using brain scans. My brain is still developing, and while I have more self-control than 6-year-old does, I'm still a bit more impulsive than my parents are. That means it's harder for me to resist the temptation of checking my text messages while driving. . . Wait. That maybe due to my ADHD.
Another reason cited by the article is that teens are also more inclined to engage in thrill-seeking and risk-taking behavior. So basically, we are willing to put more at risk for a temporary reward than adults are. Maybe I brake a little too suddenly at a stop sign, or I don't really break much at all on a turn -- because I like the thrill of waiting to see how far I can push it before applying the brakes? Hmm. That's a stretch.
Whatever it is, teen drivers need to learn to control their tendencies. It is serious business to earn the privilege of driving. Too many teens get into accidents while driving, injuring not just themselves but innocent people too. When I see a teen in a Driver's Ed vehicle, even I steer clear of it knowing that if the teenage driver in there is anything like me, danger lurks. It may take me longer than other teens to master the responsibility of driving, but I am determined to practice and practice until I can be a safe driver.