Why was it safe despite this speed? Because Danish drivers are among the best educated drivers in the world! They have to spend time on a race track as part of their education. There is a 2 year ban on using the license commercial where new drivers can lose their license very easy compared to experience drivers. Every firm knows that so they don’t hire inexperienced drivers when they know that the young drivers cannot generate profit when they have to drive slowly. Drunk driving is also non-existing compared with the United States because the youth are allowed to drink alcohol because they can take the license and learn about the effects of alcohol without being able to mix drinking and driving.
An 18 year limit on driving and a 16 year limit on alcohol make sense and save lives. But there are other factors than alcohol which kills people in the traffic. Life experience is one of them. Judging the time it would take a truck to get from a point in the distance to the spot where you stand is something you only learn by practice and one year could make that difference.
The driver of the car the Danish Exchange Student was riding with was only 17 years of age. We are not criticizing the driver as a person or even suggesting questioning the soberness. We can only believe that the driver being a honor student drove the car with the best ability she processed. However it wasn’t enough to prevent this tragedy.
What can be learned from this accident?
Not a lot!
Ohio is not like Copenhagen with a fine network of public transport even considering the fact that the accident took place not far from Cincinnati. People have to get to work by private transportation. In Jutland the police stops moped drivers all the time and the confiscate a lot of them. The Danish laws dictates a ridicules speed limits of only 18 mph and everybody installs illegal boosters. But with one bus per day and people having to travel 2 times per day to work or school the only alternative to illegal transport is a life on welfare.
There was nothing the Danish Exchange Student could have done to avoid this accident. And because there was no proper public transportation the laws over there must allow such young inexperienced drivers to be behind the wheels despite the increased risk.
We will pray for both the families. We must think of those many things the 16 year old exchange student gave up in order being an exchange student. There are no Friday bars in US High Schools and because of the curriculum she took wouldn’t result in credits achieved once she returned due to the combination of the missing social dimension and a general inferior standard of schooling compared to Danish High Schools. She did choose to miss a year academically to live out a dream. It calls for respect.
Mathile Jessen - RIP
- Death of Colerain High students 'a tragic accident' (Debbie Wilson's Family Brain Injury Blog)
- Dansk teenager kørt ihjel i USA (Politiken)