Chapter 6Practice Prudence

An Unhealthy Predilection

According to recent cognitive science research, “teenagers have a hard time foreseeing the consequences of their actions.” In other words, they find it difficult to calculate the risks and anticipate the drawbacks of any particular decision they make.1

Actuarial experts understand this perfectly, which is why auto insurance rates for the typical young driver are three to four times greater than those an older person would pay. The phenomenon is also familiar to criminologists, educators, and millions of parents who have tried to forestall calamitous adolescent behavior by reciting sobering statistics and cautionary tales of young lives gone up in smoke.

“The young and the impetuous” are ...

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