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should teenagers be allowed to drive SUVs

Original post made by parent, Old Palo Alto, on Apr 8, 2012

Yesterday, a teenager in the East Bay lost control of his SUV, jumped the curb, sheared off a fire hydrant, and plowed into a family on the sidewalk. A father and daughter were killed and another daughter was hospitalized. The SUV was an over-sized over-powered Cadillac Escalate. The teenager was reportedly speeding and weaving before the crash. Clearly, the teenager was not mature enough to drive a vehicle like this and once he lost control, a vehicle this size is going to cause a lot more casualties than a small car.

Should teenagers be allowed to drive vehicles like this? Teenage driver's licenses are already limited. Barring them from oversized vehicles is common sense to me.

Whether or not adults should be allowed to drive oversized vehicles without special training and licensing is a separate issue.

Comments (5)

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 8, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Most 17 year old drivers are driving the family car and not the car that is most ideal for them. The days of a teen getting a car for their 16th birthday is no longer a given for most families.

And when looking for a suitable car for a family with teenage boys, particularly if they do sport, an SUV is often the most practical choice. Teenage boys are often over 6' tall and trying to get them into the back seat of a smaller car before they have their license is a joke!

Not trying to excuse what happened in this particular scenario, but making a statement like this is not looking at the realities of life for most families. There was a report issued this week that pointed out that young people are driving less than ten years ago. Web Link This seems to support my thoughts.

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Posted by parent
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 8, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Station wagons can hold just as many people and just as much equipment as SUVs (except maybe for industrial situations). Station wagons are easier and safer to drive. Station wagons weigh less so they cause less damage and are lower to the ground so they are less likely to flip and roll in a crash.

I know that the auto industry has been trying to manipulate the public into thinking that SUVs are sexier than station wagons, but that is also the reason that American car companies almost went belly up.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 8, 2012 at 11:12 pm


Station wagons are a good choice, but there are none being manufactured to do the job that they used to do.

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Posted by Frank
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 9, 2012 at 9:21 am

Because he was in such a large vehicle, might be the reason he was not killed too.

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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 9, 2012 at 11:18 am

None of us know all of the facts of this unfortunate accident. However, I think we can all agree that no matter the size of vehicle - a distracted or DUI driver (no matter the age) has the great capacity to kill innocents.

I think the larger issue is getting people to drive safely - no matter the vehicle

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