Dead Man’s Curve and The Last Kiss

Posted on by Defensive Driving Team | in The Daily Drive

Dead Man’s Curve was a popular song performed by Jan and Dean, written in part by Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys… it made it all the way to #8 in 1964.  I remember hearing and singing that song as young boy.

The song was about teenage drag racing gone bad at a very dangerous curve in LA.   Ironically, Jan Berry of Jan and Dean was critically injured in a car accident which left him mostly paralyzed, in his Corvette less than two miles away from that very famous curve.

That same year – 1964 Frankie Wilson and the Cavaliers recorded Last Kiss, a song by Wayne Cochran about a deadly accident in Georgia, when two 16 year old kids, Jeanette Clark and JL Hancock, died when their car struck a tractor trailer.   Sadly, the local gas station attendant who helped pull the bodies out of the car, did not even recognize his own daughter.   The song would reach #2 on the charts and was brought back by Pearl Jam in 1998 via their very popular rendition.

The fact is, cars and teenagers are a dangerous combination, they were in the sixties, and flash forward to 2011 – distracted driving and texting are claiming more lives of teenagers than drinking and driving.

Teenagers think they are invincible, I know I did at that age and I had more than my share of accidents.  Driver safety, especially for our younger drivers has always been an issue.

So, in the title of another song, Teach your Children well, parents need to take the time to educate their kids about the dangers of driving and how important it is they drive within the legal speed limit, they put away their phones and they do not ever drink and drive.

Besides the overall improvements in safety features, there are also a number of educational alternatives today versus in the early 60’s, from which a parent can leverage to educate their teenager on driver safety.

There are state approved defensive driving courses, which will enhance any drivers education course a teen might take, there are drivers education schools themselves, which will prepare a teen to drive, there are a number of websites, Ford has a great one, dedicated to driver safety.   Any web search under defensive driving, distracted driving or driver safety will pull a number of valuable websites.

So parents, work with your teens, ride with them, teach the mature driving behavior and most of all, share some old songs in hopes they realize they do not want to be the topic of a new one.

Drive safely.

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