It seems every day another report or study appears out of nowhere. Often, public money was used to conduct the study.
And there are some interesting ones out there.
Did you know blowing up mountains is bad for the environment? That was the conclusion of a University of Maryland study.
Another study determined older people prefer to have happy memories. Educators at Missouri and Rochester universities did a joint study determining that siblings who fight don’t get along.
One of my favorites is from the University of Wisconsin, which discovered students who drink heavily are more likely to be injured.
There are more studies that make you question why money had to be spent to tell us what is pretty obvious. There are others, however, that we need to pay attention to and use the findings to make things better.
Last week, the Governors Highway Safety Association released a study showing that the deaths of 16- and 17-year-olds in passenger vehicles are on the rise for the first time in eight years. There was an 11 percent increase in the number of drivers in that age group being killed during the first six months of 2011. For all other age groups, the survey revealed a 1 percent decline in car fatalities.
Those in charge of the survey say part of the increase can be attributed to the face that benefits related to Graduated Driving Licensing laws are leveling off. The laws allow teens to drive at more times and with more passengers as they gain experience. Another factor, according to the survey, is that the economy has improved to the point where more teens can afford to drive and parents are better able to buy them a car.
Interestingly, texting and driving wasn’t mentioned as a contributing factor. Anyone who regularly drives on our streets — or anywhere else for that matter — can logically conclude that texting while talking on cellphones turns even the best drivers into bad ones.
We all have our horror stories about driving alongside teens who are more focused on texting than driving. And surveys show it takes three times as long for someone texting to react while driving than it does for someone who is drunk. And no one disputes the fact that driving while drunk is insane.
Most teens see no harm in texting and driving.
They are wrong. Too often, they are dead wrong.
Hopefully, the study last week will make a difference and encourage parents to do more than give a few driving tips and send their kids out on the road.