Teens learn driving, distraction don'...

Teens learn driving, distraction don't mix

There are 16 comments on the Newsday story from May 23, 2008, titled Teens learn driving, distraction don't mix. In it, Newsday reports that:

Teen driver Lindsey Brekne certainly had a lot going on in her car Friday morning in the parking lot at Ward Melville High School in Setauket.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Newsday.


Wilton, CT

#1 May 23, 2008
I have worked in various hospital and rehab units across the Island and what I wish schools would organize is mandatory field trips to these places so that these kids can see firsthand what the results are of driving recklessly.

The media covers the accidents and will often re-visit the story once or twice, but then the story is dropped and you never find out wha becomes of those who have survived critical injuries. THIS is what needs to be covered more --leave out personal info if it is a HIPAA thing-- but make the general public (and not just the teens) more aware of what happens to these [sometimes unfortunate] survivors as well as all of their loved ones that are often left to take care of these people for the rest of their lives. Brain injuries (aka "head injuries", or "TBIs" (traumatic brain injuries)) are often results of major motor vehicle accidents (cars, motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians all included), and will often affect that person's functioning for the rest of their lives. And another result of a TBI is that the person that you once knew will often be gone, as brain injuries can often cause personality changes.

I know that teens (and also adults) go through an invincible stage, but the fact that 6,000 teens (and that's JUST teens) die a year, and that these stats have not changed in over a decade makes me ill. There is no reason to give up hope that something could make a difference... but more intensive strategies must be examined. I know some schools do bring students to E.R.s to see stuff like this, but not nearly enough of them do, and not often enough. Unfortunately I'm sure that the HIPAA laws complicate this issue, however, that is no excuse to not look into some way of working this out.

Again, I only wish that everyone could spend just one hour on the floor of the ER, ICU, or rehab units to see what I have seen. If so, I'm sure many more people would wear their seatbelts; drive more slowly, safely, and respectfully; wear bike helmets when riding their bicycle (even if it's just a leisurely ride through a park -- accidents DO NOT discriminate regarding where they occur!!) and not drink/use drugs and drive. Of course there will always be exceptions to the rule, but even if we could keep this from happening to one person, it would make a world of difference; because usually it is not just one person who is the victim... it also includes all of their loved ones, and if the injury or death was the fault of someone else, it forever changes that person's and their family's lives forever as well.

New York, NY

#2 May 23, 2008
For the 1/4 of the year (Memorial day to Labor day) that is in the headline of this article less than 1/4 of all teen deaths (6 out of 30 occurred). Why is this news?? The headline should be: Less Than a Quarter of All Teen Deaths on LI Happen During the Summer Season: The Roads Are Safe Now!

Newsday, you have been on a sharp decline over the past few years and should be ashamed of yourself. Start reporting national and international news that is relevant to our lives! The trash that you shovel towards us is disgraceful.
white school

Coram, NY

#3 May 23, 2008
notice the lilly white schools they went to - where is freeport, brentwood, hempstead and those district - guess life means less to allstate

Los Angeles, CA

#4 May 23, 2008
So Lindsey Brekne has a Mercedes how nice for her insurance company that will most like to bet that she will be in an accident with in a short period of time. Since she did not put any of her own $ into that car or the insurance is the reason her parents will pay when the accident happens in more ways then they want to. Ask any car insurance agent about this and you will heart breaking true stories.
white schools

Coram, NY

#5 May 23, 2008
whitey dont care what car you have, he will charge the black man extra no matter what he drives
Jack Lord

Mesquite, NV

#6 May 23, 2008
They should pass a national law that states:" it's illegal
to anything (except driving ) when operating a motor vehicle!
To many live are lost to minor acts !!
A mom

New Canaan, CT

#7 May 23, 2008
Concerned could not be more accurate. She is right on and truly knows first hand. A family member of ours right now sadly is a victim of TBI. We know how heartbreaking such a terrible accident can be. The saftey course for distractions is something I think all kids should be exposed to when getting ready to drive. I also feel there should be a limit or law that until the age of at least 21 but preferably 23 that only one passenger your age or over can accompany you in your car. Most of these accidents not only happen between these couple of months - but in addition usually 3 kids are in the car. The passenger in the passenger seat in front is usually the one who is killed or severely injured. One less person would reduce distraction I believe tremendously. It would be one less conversation and need for the driver to concentrate on one more thing. I truly believe it would make for safer travel altogether.

Since: Jan 07

Hagerstown, MD

#8 May 24, 2008
O K everybody lets get something straight its not an accidents accident happens before the event its called a crash! accident means stupidity, carelessness lets be honest and take off the blinders.
I don't feel sorry for these teens nor their parents we all know the rules of the road we chose not to follow them 17 less 10D10TS on the road and more is going to be. GOOD!

Since: Jan 07

Hagerstown, MD

#9 May 24, 2008
AND DRIVE you 10D10TS I am tired of paying for your dumb mistakes.

West Babylon, NY

#10 May 24, 2008
The 10th paragraph states .."On Long Island, out of the 30 teens who died in car crashes during 2006, six teens ages 16 to 19 died during those three months that year,...". Thats not that bad. Lets do the math. 30 teens divided by12 is 2.5 average for the whole year. If you remove those six and divide up the remainder 24/9=2.7, hmmm. Lets try 6 teens divided by 3 months, by golly it's 2. Below the averages! Children learn what they live and most of them are brought up as the distraction by distracted parents. Four door Mercedes..good grief. The car is built for speed not teenagers.

West Babylon, NY

#11 May 24, 2008
Kaitlin wrote:
The headline should be: Less Than a Quarter of All Teen Deaths on LI Happen During the Summer Season: The Roads Are Safe Now!
I posted before reading and I want to thank you for also picking this up, sometimes I feel so all alone...
Death Race

Brooklyn, NY

#13 May 24, 2008
Looks like it's time to start counting the deaths this summer.
Why Now

Shoreham, NY

#15 May 24, 2008
The deadly mix of driving and doing distracting things at the same time should have been drummed into these teens' heads by their driving instructors, assuming that many of them took a drivers education course.

Gardiner, NY

#16 May 24, 2008
What the heck is a 17 year old driving a Mercedes for? Oh, I forgot. Mommy and Daddy thought she deserved it...
John Q

New York, NY

#17 May 24, 2008
white school wrote:
notice the lilly white schools they went to - where is freeport, brentwood, hempstead and those district - guess life means less to allstate
Most of their young drivers are out on Southern State in their pumped up Rice Burner's weaving in and out of traffic, to the beat of there Huge Woofer's , and most likely SMALL TWEETERS!

Marlinton, WV

#18 May 26, 2008
Kudos to all you scientists who picked up on the inconsistency in fatalities for the summer period vs the rest of the year. That's the problem when you look at small sample sizes. Nationally, the fatality numbers for teens hold up (although it's not THAT dramatic of a spike). I'm sure that if you looked at injury crashes involving teen drivers (there are a lot more of those than there are fatal crashes), they'd follow the trend of increasing in the summer. Just don't use the poor use of stats as reason to pooh-pooh the message of the story: parents need to be especially attuned to their teens' driving/safety during the summer months. After all, Mom and Dad are probably both at work and not paying attention to what those Mercedes-driving kids are doing during all that free-time in the summer.

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