Monday, April 7, 2014

Teenage thrillseekers: the years of living dangerously


It’s more dangerous for teens than any decade since the sixties.
Adolescence is the only age group in which the death-rate has risen since 1960.  You see teenagers are a reckless species and young thrill-seekers go looking for new and potentially harmful experiences.

FACT
In the US, more than 16,000 young people die each year from accidents.

For twelve months I worked as a funeral director. In this role I witnessed the distress of dozens of families whose child died as a result of their own reckless behaviour. Some of those deaths were due to suicide, overdose and cancer but by far and away the majority resulted from dangerous driving.

FACT
Inexperienced teenagers are the rashest and fastest drivers on the roads. 

Their wild behaviour intensifies when they are with their friends. It is easy for them to get carried away because driving is a new and exciting experience for them. All too often it is their final experience.

FACT
The part of the brain that manages impulse control, judgement, insight and emotional response is not fully developed in a teenager.

It’s hard to find anything positive in the death of young person but you’d like to hope that the death of a friend might serve as a lesson, albeit a harsh one.  And yet after listening to grief-stricken family members speak at the funeral of the needless waste of life; many teenagers continue to drive as if they are indestructible.

Making Sense of What I’ve Seen

 I wrote about five teenagers, good kids who embarked on a wild joy ride that ended in tragedy in The Biocide Conspiracy. Their grief stricken families decided on a combined  funeral service. At the end of the ceremony the coffins were carried from the church to a song that ironically celebrates the wildness of youth. 

Forever young, I want to be forever young.
Do you really want to live forever, forever and ever?

One teen survived, He matured and achieved more than anyone would ever have expected. His exploits are recorded in "The Biocide Conspiracy". What heights his companions might have attained, will never be known.


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