Oh, deer – should parents of teens fret this summer?

By Sterling Smith
Summer intern

Are you about to be the parent of a teen driver? If so, you can worry a little less about this big moment in your teen’s life.

   A new study shows that both Washington and Oregon rank in the 10 best states for teen drivers. You can see the complete list in this USA Today article

   When I turned 16, I could think of nothing more than hitting the open road and taking full advantage of my new freedom. I spent my first summer driving to lakes and rivers all over Washington and Idaho, and I had the time of my life. I was on top of the world and had nowhere to look but up.

   On my last grand adventure of the summer, I fell prey to one of the many unique Northwest hazards. As the sun set I drove down a tree-lined Washington highway, and out of nowhere an enormous deer lunged into my lane. With no time to react I plowed into the deer and found myself on the side of the road.

   Unlike many teen drivers, all I had with me was a useless dead cell phone. It wasn’t long before a car pulled up and gave me a ride to the nearest gas station.

   I took two important lessons from that unexpected experience: one, disaster can strike at any second; two, you should always charge your phone.

   Luckily I was unharmed, but my beloved pickup didn’t share the same luck. It was totaled and my summer adventure came to a screeching halt. Although we live in one of the best states for teen drivers, it’s important to stress that crash rates among teen drivers are highest in the summer months.

by  Jon Osterberg

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