Tuesday, August 12, 2008

How's my kid driving?

Way too many teens die — needlessly — in car crashes. Just this week a star runner and soon-to-be Dartmouth student died in a one-car crash in Wenham and seriously injured his teen passenger.

Two Wellesley women are doing something about it. They created a company called Steer Straight, which sells "How's My Teen Driving" stickers and supporting phone service, modeled after the "How's My Driving" stickers on commercial trucks. If someone calls the toll-free number on the sticker and complains, the offending teen's parents receive an e-mail.

Incomprehensibly, boston.com doesn't have the web address in the article, much less a live link, even though the article makes reference to the web site. You'd think it would be a public service of a sort.

Here are two similar services: another How's-My-Teen-Driving company and Tell-My-Mom (1-866-2-TELLMOM).

Needless to say, the primary aim of the program is preventive; the expectation is that kids with the sticker will drive more cautiously. If I had a teen driver, I'd sign up.

The program's founders, though, appear to be sending a mixed message. One founder's seventeen-year-old son drives a Mercedes station wagon, having totaled his previous car. (Choice quote: "'I never drove too crazily,' says the 17-year-old senior, who totaled his previous car after crashing into a stone wall. 'But it definitely makes you think twice about doing things.'" Because cars total themselves!) And, in the accompanying photo online, the women stand in front of two SUVs with the stickers — presumably trucks their kids drive. Teens shouldn't be driving SUVs, especially because they don't need the passenger capacity. Teens shouldn't be driving teens.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

$99 per car? My company got these stickers at $12 per truck. Guess someone's gotta pay for that totaled car.