4,144 teens aged 16-19 died in automobile accidents in 2006 and almost 400,000 were treated in emergency rooms for crash injuries. I know I was certainly not a great driver at that age as two tickets and two accidents would attest. My parents and I split the cost of my first car, an 89 Chevy Beretta, and the third day I drove it to high school I was ticketed for 48MPH in a 25MPH residential zone. Had the officer not literally first put down his donut to pick up the radar gun, I'm sure my ticket would have been 60+ and my morning would have ended with a reckless speeding ticket instead.
While we can't make teenagers any more mindful of their own mortality, the good news is that we can give them skills to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities from their first major freedom. October 19-25 is National Teen Driver Safety Week. The #1 thing you can do for your child or the child of a friend is get them to attend a car control or safety clinic. You can get a list of events on the MotorsportReg.com calendar and check out Street Survival.
These one-day educational events typically cost $40-80 and have a direct and effective result on teen driving behavior. Lobby your friends and family to get their kids into a hands-on clinic that improves their odds of survival behind the wheel.