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Teen Driving in San Diego

  • Law enforcement has recently cracked down on something of interest to many San Diego teens: drag racing. The city recently developed a special police unit that investigates local racing on a full time basis. This task force recently busted a drag race meet that had attracted a crowd of more 1200 people.

    The popularity of this risky activity is often blamed on the media. Films like The Fast and the Furious show detailed scenes of racing and dangerous driving maneuvers; law-makers are eager to say that these images spark imitation and increase teen driver's desire to participate in risky behavior.

    However, the authorities have ignored a critical fact when constructing this argument: teens are naturally inclined to participate in risk-taking activities, regardless of media influence.

    According to data released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in 2001, 39 percent of all deaths of 16-19 year-olds were caused by motor vehicle related accidents. The high fatality rate is partially due to driving inexperience, but the increased likelihood of reckless driving behavior among young people is an even more critical factor.

    What can you do to combat this problem? Awareness is critical. Also, one important step in becoming a safe driver is knowing the rules of the road. Reviewing a defensive driving course like the one available at is a good start. Courses like these outline safe driving behaviors and practices and may decrease the impulse to participate in risky activities.

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