Cries of fake baby cause car crash

What lesson did the 17-year-old driver learn?

Published December 1, 2006 9:18PM (EST)

One teenage girl in Pleasanton, Calif., took a school project designed to teach the rigors of childcare a little too seriously, the Associated Press reports today.

The 17-year-old, whose name has not been released, was driving a Mini Cooper 65 miles per hour on the freeway. She'd just picked up her passenger -- an educational baby doll, designed to periodically bawl and wet itself, as well as record how long the student "parent" takes to respond to the infant's needs. When the doll started crying, the startled driver swerved into a guardrail and then slammed into a pickup truck. As police arrived, the girl was trying to comfort the doll. While no one was hurt in the crash, this student might need to take a refresher course of driver's ed; among other lessons, she apparently missed the section on how it's illegal to drive without a license.

Meanwhile, a new study shows that a recent, dramatic decline in teen pregnancy in the U.S. was due to the increased use of contraception, not abstinence. There was no word on the influence of classroom instruction on newborn care.

By Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

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