Crash Your Car ... All the Cool Kids Are Doing It - BodyShop Business

Crash Your Car … All the Cool Kids Are Doing It

Remember how your parents tried to teach you to think for yourself by asking if you'd jump off a bridge just because your friends did? Well, we've finally located the kid(s) who answered "yes!"

Apparently the new trend for the Sesame Street set in Michigan is joyriding.

True, this right of passage isn’t a new trend, but these precocious tikes are putting a new spin on it by doing it before they can even spell “accelerate” (or even reach the accelerator, for that matter).

A 7-year-old started it all late last year when she stole a van. Her joyride ended when she crashed into another car and sustained minor injuries. Hearing about her brush with death and realizing all the cool kids were being hospitalized, an 11-year-old upped the ante early this year. His two-mile joyride in a school bus ended with smashed utility poles and mailboxes. The spree continued when a 4-year old in Sand Lake stole his mother’s car and headed to a local video store – which begs the question, is there something in that lake besides sand?

Because this latest little fellow couldn’t reach the pedals, he put the car in gear and idled his way to the video store. Police officer Jay Osga began following the 4-year-old on the tail-end of his round trip to Blockbuster, not because the car was operating significantly below the speed limit, but because it was weaving and the headlights were off. Osga says he was about to pull over the car when it turned into an apartment complex (where the tike and his Mom lived) and struck two parked cars. The boy then put the car in reverse and struck Osga’s cruiser.

Unlike the other two delinquents, in the 4-year-old’s case, his mother wasn’t so much a disciplinarian as an accomplice. Although she feigned surprise when Osga brought her son home – “I didn’t even know he was out of bed,” she claimed – she blew her cover when she let it slip that earlier that day she let him steer the car from her lap. It’s obvious the mother was teaching her son to drive so she could send him out on errands – but Osga didn’t pick up on the slip, or her ulterior motives, and no charges were pressed against the mother or her son.

But I suspect if you check underneath that copy of “Finding Nemo” on the passenger seat that you’ll also find a copy of “Sleepless in Seattle.”


Writer Liz Blickle is a part-time intern (in her spare time) for BodyShop Business, and she never went on a joyride. She was too busy jumping off that bridge her parents warned her about.

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