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January 4, 2005 > Caution - Road Curves Ahead: Five Tips to Help Your Teen Become 'Road Ready'

Caution - Road Curves Ahead: Five Tips to Help Your Teen Become 'Road Ready'

by Catherine Harris

With approximately 12.6 million teenage drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 years old in the United States, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 15 to 20 year olds. But every day countless teens find their lives skidding out of control because they are unprepared to handle the increasing responsibilities of maturity.

"Getting a driver's license is a rite of passage for American teens," says Catherine Harris, coauthor of "The Teenager's Roadside Guide to Life: Preparing New Drivers for the Road Ahead" (Golden State Publishing, $16.95, "It's also a metaphor that signals a time to grow up and accept responsibility."

With her 16-year-old son Joe, Catherine Harris wrote "The Teenager's Roadside Guide to Life" to inspire teens and give solace to parents who are parting with their keys.

"Before your teenager zooms off, make sure he or she can handle being in the driver's seat," says Catherine. With that in mind, she and Joe offer the report "Is Your Teen Ready for the Driver's Seat? 5 Questions to Help You Find Out" free at

Here mother and son share five tips to help your teens steer clear of life-threatening collisions and handle any curves that come their way, in life or on the road:

  1. Plan ahead. Remember, it wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.

  2. Do not enter. There are some places you just know you shouldn't go . . . so don't. It takes time to develop character, but only a moment to get a reputation.

  3. Never lose sight of the horizon. Is what you're doing today getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow?

  4. Never sit in the driver's seat when you are upset. There are hundreds of reasons for road rage, but not one excuse.

  5. Plan an alternate route. Life conditions are just as unpredictable as the weather. Always have Plan B, just in case.

According to Joe, "Life isn't about what you are driving. Life is about what's driving you to succeed, to serve others and to be the best you can be."
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