Remember that cool summer where you and your friends took driver's education, and at the end of the summer, everyone had a license? All the doors to adult freedom were opening and the world was full of endless possibilities, all because you didn't have to look for a ride anymore?  We were driving fast and loose, the radio was loud and we were having the time of our young lives.

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And then, our friends started dying.  Looking back on my teenage years, I honestly don't know exactly how many of my friends were lost to car accidents.  There are quite a few, and there are some that just stick out in my mind.  My friends in Conrad know all too well about losing classmates to car accidents.  I feel like I was 16 when I had my first GROUP of friends get in a wreck and one of them died.

Turns out, it wasn't just kids of the 80's that were losing friends and loved ones to car accidents.

Montana is ranked DEAD LAST in safety for teenage drivers.  Dead Last.

According to Wallet Hub, car accidents are the leading cause of death for people from 16-19 years old.  Not drinking, not drugs, not murder.  Car accidents.

Montana is also leading the way for the most teen fatalities and teen Dui rates in the entire United States.


If Injury and Loss of Life Aren't Enough, it's Expensive, too

It costs nearly 41 BILLION dollars a year in medical expenses and work loss to be leading the nation this way.  All of that money doesn't even include vehicle maintenance, insurance rates, tickets and all of the other things that come with a car accident or reckless driving.

What do We do to Fix This?

I'm sitting here floored that Montana has the worst record for teen drivers.  I don't know WHAT we do.

I will be honest, until I was about 24-25, cars didn't scare me.  I used to drive across the state with, at least, 4-5 dollar bills on me so that when I got pulled over for speeding, (and I got pulled over a lot) I could pay the officer, and me and my lead foot could be on our way.  I'd drive like a bat out of hell no matter the road, no matter the weather.  I'm not bragging, by the way.  It's embarrassing.


Maybe Raise Driving Age?

I know that's a tough one, especially in farm and ranch country.  I was driving at a very young age to help my dad on the farm.  We'd flag equipment and such.  I think having me, my brother and my cousins to help out that way was a real asset to my dad, so maybe that's NOT that answer.

Or maybe ONLY FARM KIDS can drive, and only on farm/ranch business?

The only thing I know for sure, we should really look at this, as a state.  Our kids are worth it.

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