Dec 25, 2012

Posted by in Issue of the Day | 0 Comments

How much do we really love our children?

Almost any parent would tell you they love their children more than life itself. Indeed, faced with a choice, most parents would readily surrender their own life to save one of their children.

There is a kind of logical symmetry to this notion and many might say it is a no-brainer. But there is one instance in which most parents would renege on that level of love.

No, I’m not talking about children committing unspeakable acts and destroying the parental bond. Something much more prosaic. Something that slips under our radar almost all the time.

The issue is cars. Specifically, the almost universal trend to let our youngest and newest drivers loose in ‘old jalopies’.

It’s been the way of the world for decades but it completely undermines the principle of doing anything possible to save the lives of our offspring.

Working hard most of your life to get into the position of being able to afford a quality motor vehicle is a major lifestyle aspiration for most of us. And, let’s face it, it does nice things to one’s head to be able to drive around in a decent car. It’s a reward most of us think we deserve.

To then contemplate surrendering our good fortune by letting our children have the good car instead of a cheapie beginner vehicle is just a step too far for most of us.

But it’s kind of crazy, too, since the older cars have brakes, steering, tyres and other features trailing way behind the latest models. With safety features improving constantly, newest is clearly the best, especially when imparting a measure of protection for those drivers who most need every assistance they can get.

Statistics routinely reveal that drivers aged 16-24 are constantly over-represented in motor vehicle accident deaths. It would help substantially to save their lives if we were generous enough to let them drive the’ good cars’ instead of the ‘rust buckets’ they tend to be in control of during their learning period as drivers.

Will we make the change? All the evidence says No. Which ought to give us pause for thought when we consider just how much we love our children.

It’s a fascinating moral dilemma, isn’t it?

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