Study: 60% of Teens Learn to Drive from Vin Diesel Movies

Car Chase

Warning: satire ahead.

LONDON – Using a sophisticated online survey of more than 1,000 respondents who at least claimed to be teenagers, researchers from the UK’s National Society for Freaking Out Over Child Safety (NSCFOOCS) have determined more than 60 percent of British teens learn to drive by watching movies from the Fast and Furious franchise and other action films featuring Vin Diesel.

Coming on the heels of another shocking survey-based revelation from NSCFOOCS — namely, more than half of English teenage boys think porn is “realistic” — the new discovery about teen driving habits has British mums in a frenzy of concern bordering on despair.

“It’s bad enough knowing I’ve raised a little perv who believes those double-anal penetration videos he downloads at night are a good primer for his future sex life,” said Edith Crowley, a mother of three from Yorkshire. “Now I have to worry about him driving home from the pub on two wheels, or trying to parachute a sports car out the back of a cargo plane.”

Just as the porn-related survey showed more belief in the realism of porn on the part of boys than girls, the driving data shows a clear gender gap in Diesel’s influence on young drivers.

“I was riding in my boyfriend’s lorry the other day and he tried to use the parking brake to initiate a skid around the corner, like something out of that dreadful Tokyo Drift movie he’s always pestering me to watch with him,” wrote Mary, age 16. “We wound up crashing through the front window of a pastry shop, destroying an entire display case of quite lovely scones. What a cock-up that was! What did he think he was doing? What a wanker, honestly.”

Wayne, a 14-year-old from Southampton, said he’s looking forward to getting his first car so he can “do all the wicked shit people do with cars, like ramming them into busloads of prisoners to affect a great escape on the part of one of me mates, or dragging around massive metal vaults full of stolen cash through the streets of Rio.”

Psychologist Cyril Myers, head of the Center for Traumatizing Mentally Disturbed Patients with Bizarre Medical Tests at Cambridge, said he’s “downright confuddled” by the data collected by NSCFOOCS. He expressed great empathy for the confused youth who were the study’s subjects.

“In my day, porno was a lad mag you’d take with you into the loo for a quick tug, not a replacement for proper sex education — and the car chases in our favorite films were far more realistic,” Myers said. “I can only imagine how difficult my teen years would have been had I grown up watching Riddick and Dominic Toretto instead of Dingy Bell and Spats Colombo.”

Others are skeptical of the study’s findings, including famous director of popular British action-comedies, Rich Guiley.

“If young lads are all mindlessly copying what they see in the cinema, why haven’t we seen a rash of highly comedic jewel thefts set to a hip, catchy soundtrack?” Guiley asked. “And why do most young people have trouble expressing themselves cleverly, as opposed to always having a brilliant, incisive one-liner at the ready when verbally sparring with their primary antagonist?”

Myers, however, said the connection between works of fiction and the actions of young people “isn’t as simple as precise cause and effect.”

“I wouldn’t say these boys are consciously mimicking what they see on the screen so much as they are being inspired by the movies to test their boundaries in ways that are not healthy or safe,” Myers said. “So while they might not try to jump out of a moving car in an attempt to save a woman who is falling off a bridge by catching her in mid-air and hoping their momentum somehow overcomes gravity to carry them to the safety of a nearby car hood, they easily could be influenced to shave their heads bald and start talking like a melodramatic, gravelly voiced dickhead all the time. That could severely hamper their career options, obviously.”

Still, Guiley questioned how the researchers can be so sure kids are copying the actions they see in specific movies when so many movies contain similar scenes and tropes. He also noted that unlike the “thrilling but ultimately harmless” chase scenes in his movies, the car crashes and attending fatalities caused by overly aggressive British teen drivers “aren’t in the least bit funny” and are “generally poorly lit and poorly filmed.”

“Let’s just put it this way,” Guiley said. “If this is life imitating art, then it’s life imitating someone else’s art, which is absolute shit, not my art, which is solid fucking gold, mate. Solid. Fucking. Gold.”

 

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Ben Suroeste

Gene Zorkin has been covering legal and political issues for various adult publications (and under a variety of pen names) since 2002.

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