New car on your teen’s wish list? Put a bow on these gifts instead

by Sharlyn Petit

You can’t blame them for trying. You probably remember when you were newly licensed and ready to drive a sparkling set of wheels to call your own.
   Maybe your teen is sending you hints or laying the guilt on thick with stories of so-and-so’s parents surprising Danny with a...

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Unplug! 5 tips for a technology-free family road trip

by Sharlyn Petit
Destination decided. Family loaded into the car. You’re not even backed out of the driveway yet, and all passengers are plugged into their devices, e-reading, tweeting, status updating, and leaving the poor driver bored and a little lonely. Sound familiar? 
   While you...

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Rainy day safety tips for first time drivers

by Sharlyn Petit
As a Northwest teen, you’ve grown up wallowing in the region’s endless rain showers. Surely by now, you’ve had the chance to put in some practice hours, or put your new license to the test, on our wet and puddle-prone roads.
   Even if our “most rainy days” reputation is often debunke...

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Oregon, Washington rank among best for teen drivers

by Sharlyn Petit
Every now and then, critics compare our 50 states in an all-out-who’s-best ranking battle. Such as, which are the healthiest, happiest, or most educated? Others judge the best spot to retire or sip the best beer.
   The Northwest ranks high on a list that offers a little comfort to...

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Ditching the automobile for a different mobile

by Sharlyn Petit
   Remember Jon’s local straw poll on fewer teens getting licenses? The trend of teen drivers postponing car ownership is here to stay. Fuel costs, maintenance, and car payments are all partly to blame.
   Also, old-fashioned face-to-face hangouts have been replaced by a barrage of...
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Peer pressure sparks dumb driving choices

A recent news headline reminds me of a dumb choice I made as a teen driver.
   You can file this under the "Here's what not to do" category. I mentioned this incident in a blog I wrote two years ago, but it's worth repeating.
   My friend Greg and I went night skiing at Snoqualmie Pass during my...

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Contract might prevent teen tragedy

A Vancouver, Wash., crash took the life of a 17-year-old who got his license just two days before smashing into a traffic pole on Halloween, tearing his car in two.
   An 18-year-old passenger in the car also died. Both teens attended Mountain View High School.
   In a KATU-TV report, driving...

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Oregon crash matches teen-driver profile

Ironically, on the final day of Teen Driver Safety Week, a truck crowded with seven teenagers crashed into a tree near Vernonia, Ore., sending three to the hospital.
   A 16-year-old girl was driving a Ford F250 around a curve on Highway 47 when she lost control, over-corrected, left the road and...

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No-brainer advice can save teen lives

Here’s a simple message I’d like every young driver to remember. It’s something that even the most independent teenager can agree with, even when the message comes from an adult.
   Buckle up.
   Oh, that? Again? Seriously?
  
Yes. Here’s why.
   It’s National Teen Driver Safety Week, and you’ll...

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Young mindset differs on risky driving

Sometimes when I talk to high school classes about car insurance, a few students will complain that teenagers are unfairly scrutinized for their driving.
   If you’re a teen driver who feels that traffic cops target you, please know that another source is outing you: teen drivers themselves, and...

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