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Teenage driving..

  • My son is about to start driving..I'm surprized by how panicked I am by this. He's a good kid, level headed, very responsible says my voice of reason..but just thinking about him out there driving-vulnerable to his mistakes and other peoples mistakes scares the pants off of me. Yet, I let him careen down a mountain unsupervised (he's an expert skier). The car thing is just overwhelming. Any wise words from those of you who've lived through teen driving years??
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by OliveMartini on 2nd February 2008
  • Take him out often -- even after he gets his license. Include everything from parking lot drives (to learn to handle the car) to highway driving. I did that with my daughter, now 21, and I feel very confident in her driving. I had to take an emergency trip of some 700 miles when she was 19, and I was so grateful to have another driver along that I could trust.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Daisy on 3rd February 2008
  • I'm facing the same thing with mine. Course, I'm the world's worst "backseat driver." Daisy's advice is something I'm trying to heed, but I find myself putting a hole in the passenger side floor <VBG>

    BTW, if your local newspaper has the Zits! comic, they've been covering this very topic cause the teenage son just got his license. I've been copying it every day they come out with something new, cause it's hitting things right on target with us.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by JKLD on 3rd February 2008
  • Mine didn't get her learner's permit until this fall because her grades weren't up to snuff. I absolutely refused to let her get it until she learned proper priorities and responsibilites. Also, there's been quite a few studies that support upping the age for even a learner's permit to 17. It has to do with the development of the teenage brain, which as we all know, isn't exacly all there in the 1st place.

    Virginia, as well as other states, has a graduated driver's license and for good reason. Too many fatalities involving multiple teenagers. And mine can't understand why insurance companies charge so much for teenager drivers. I told her to thank God she's not a boy.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by JKLD on 5th February 2008
  • I don't believe it matters what kind of kid you have, or what kind of lessons you give your kid. Once he's out in the world with that automobile, he's eventually gonna do something stupid. For me, I've set rules about cars that are absolutely solid. One screwup, and there will be no driving. You do not have to sign the license for any kid. They can wait until they're 18 to get one on their own if you don't sign for it.

    Recently an honor roll kid, a really hard worker, a very nice kid, peeled out of our hilly driveway without even slowing down. My son was in the car. I called his cell, screamed "Get out of the car" and made him come home. He KNEW from my rules that he was never ever go get into a car with this kid again. Ever.

    My kids want to live past 16. To me, setting rules about what kind of driving is absolutely verboten is your first step. And when a line is crossed, the license is revoked. Period. No keys, no car, no driving.

    Cars aren't toys and kids at 16 are often kind of, well, impulsive and dumb. The only way you can impress on them that you're serious is to follow through with drastic punishments.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Margalit on 5th February 2008
  • Personally, I dearly LOVE what the Mom down in Texas did. Bought son a car at Thanksgiving. Established rules. 3 weeks later, Mom found son had broken rules and since the car was in her name, she retook possession and sold saiid car. It made all the news.

    I LOVE it. Now that's a mom with guts and values.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by JKLD on 5th February 2008
  • Thanks for all the inputs! I'm all over the strict approach..but realize that I can't control every minute, and I think that's what worries me. Especially when I think back to the dumb choices my friends made. I personally didn't get my license until I was in my 20s, so I think that makes him a bit nervous (what if she tells me to wait until then!!). In Maine, he can get his permit at 15 with driving lessons, and then he can get his license at 16-so I've got a year of letting him drive--We've already started discussing the rules-he gets a car (a hand me down) and at violation #1 (whether reported by the police or someone else-we live in a small town-he's done driving. I'm pretty strict in general.

    He also got to help my dh clean out my car two years ago after I flipped it..a good lesson in what happens when you look down for a second even if you're only going 30 mph. Lucky my injuries were minor (but painful) and he retains a very vivid picture of the wrecked car and my screeching in pain.

    I'm still panicked though : )
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by OliveMartini on 5th February 2008
  • I fear my son will be a terrible driver, and I would like him to have at least another two years before he attempts it. Happily for me, it seems that might just happen! He is very passive (which I normally view as a character flaw), and, although he's 18, has yet to get past his learner's permit.

    Now that we don't have a family car, he's not getting any practice. I do not see this as a bad thing. The boy needs to mature a bit first. (No, he can't practice with licensed friends: under Ontario legislation, an accompanying driver has to have had a full license for at least four years: no teens supervising teens!)

    My daughter, who's 22, had her license before she turned 17. I didn't take her out: I didn't have the stomach for it, but my husband (her step-father) took her out a LOT. She's a very sensible and careful driver, always has been.

    So I'd say it totally depends on the child, and the more they drive, the better they get. And the calmer you get!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by MaryP on 6th February 2008
  • We are on kid #3 with a learners permit. Here in PA they have to have there permit for 6 months before they can drive. My oldest which is 25 didn't have this law. But the rest have. I like it. It gives the kids alot time behind the wheel.

    The 2 boys did great with driving. My oldest has always had a problem with speeding tickets. He lost his license before he was 18 because of this. Now he has to pay his own and insurance. I have never paid for any of his speeding tickets.

    The younger son had on fender bender and he paid to have my husbands car fixed. Now he has his own car and pays for the payments and the car insurance on his own.

    We always buy the kids a cheap beater car when they first learn to drive. After they get the license they have to have a part time job to put gas in it. We pay for the insurance and up keep to they get out school then it is up to them after that.

    My daughter that has her permit now is doing well. Right after she can get her license the baby can get a permit. So my nerves will be shot for another year yet.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by crazymomof04 on 8th March 2008
  • When my daughter first started driving last year, I think one of the things I failed to really focus on with her, were the more simple aspects of driving, such as pulling into & out of a parking space, backing out...AND LOOKING WHILE DOING SO!! Remembering to look to the left when turning right, etc. Small things that have actually caused her some minor fender benders.

    Also, keeping her cell phone put away while driving. I still worry that she's texting & driving. She says she's not. I hope she's being truthful.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by on 17th March 2008

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