By Sterling Smith
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.