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Teens and driving

Poll Results: What is your family's situation regarding teens and driving?

This is a multiple choice poll
  • 24% (8)
    My teen does not have a license or a car.
  • 9% (3)
    My teen has a license but not a car.
  • 15% (5)
    My teen drives my car.
  • 12% (4)
    I pay ALL of my teen's car payments and insurance.
  • 3% (1)
    I pay PART of my teen's car payments and insurance.
  • 0% (0)
    My teen pays ALL his/her own car payments and insurance.
  • 15% (5)
    I do not allow my teen to own or drive a car.
  • 0% (0)
    Our family does not own a car.
  • 3% (1)
    My teen is not interested in owning a car.
  • 18% (6)
33 Total Votes  
post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
What do you all think about teenagers and driving? Personally it scares me. I didn't even get my license until I was 21.
post #2 of 29
Well, being that I'm the first voter it's obvious how I voted...we do not allow a license/car.

In my state a teenager may get their license at the age of sixteen. I think this is wayyyy too young. My ds will be 18 in 5 months and will be getting his license then.

He was not allowed to drive in the car with a friend until they had 3 months driving experience (I wanted 6 months but dh thought that was ridiculous : ). And *IF* we pay for ds's insurance we'll have the same stipulation...he cannot have any passengers until he has driven for 3 months.

There is so much more traffic, road rage, cell phone distractions that the roads are becoming frightening if you ask me. I swear I witness at least one drive through a red light per week.
post #3 of 29
Here in Az. you can get a driving permit at the age of 15years 7 months and you can have the permit for 1 year then if you want to drive you MUST get a drivers license.
I have told my teens they can get their permit at 16years 7months or later depending on attitude , respect , and grades....They will NOT be able to drive without an adult over the age of 25years during the permit stage ( my rule ) they could could legally drive with a 16yearold that has a license ( scarey thought) .
They are not allowed to ride with a driver under the age of 20years( until they turn 18years and can make that choice themselves) ,if caught they will loose the chance to get their permit at 16.7years.There are way too many accidents and red light runners here in Az.
I am doing what I can to keep my teens safe they do not like my rules but do respect them .
When they do get their license they will have to pay for their insurance if they want to drive for pleasure vs work, school and pay for gas and maintence on the vehicle they wil NOT be able to buy a car until they graduate from high schoool .
post #4 of 29

I suspect my opinion is different from most

I got a hardship license at age 15. My father is blind and has a heart condition, and my mother has arthritis, plus she was commuting from 150 miles away (long story) so my dad and I were by ourselves most of the time.

I got my regular license as soon as I turned 16. I'm now 23 and have had only one accident that was my fault, and it was VERY minor (involving one parked car and one car just barely moving).

My family depended on my being able to drive. If I hadn't been able to get my license when I did, I don't know how we would have survived. I had to go to school, I had to take my dad to the doctor, I had to do the grocery shopping, we had to pick up my mom at the bus station, we had to take the clothes to the cleaners, I had to go to project meetings at classmates' houses, and on and on and on. My being able to drive made all of that possible.

And yes, my parents paid for all of my car expenses. Since the only reason I was driving was to drive them around because they couldn't, it would have been very unfair to make me pay for it myself. They wouldn't have let me get a job even if I had wanted one, anyway; they wanted to be sure my grades stayed up.

My parents also bought me a late model used car when I was 16. SO MANY people told me I was spoiled. They had no idea what they were talking about. Except for driving to and from school, I nearly always had my father in the car with me. It really was HIS car for the first two years and I was just the driver!

They paid all of my insurance until I graduated from college and got a job, then I started paying it myself. I've taken good care of this car and seven years later it still runs great, and is the only car my sweetie and I have between the two of us. Owning a car free and clear has been a great head start for me.

Does this mean I will automatically let my teenager drive as soon as humanly possible and give her a car when he/she is sixteen? No, because our family situation will be different. People need to take into consideration that other families' situations are different from theirs before they start to make generalizations about allowing ALL 16- (or 15- or 18-) year-olds to drive. My parents depended on their teen driver. Maybe other people are in that situation, too.
post #5 of 29
In a couple of year, Texas teens will have to wait until they are 18 to get drivers licenses! WOOHOOO!!!! They will still be able to drive to and from after school activities and work, but they will not be allowed to transport people under 21 other than their own siblings in a vehicle.

I like it! - no peer pressure to get a juiced up car, no running around at night with a carload of friends, and more time with the parents who now must drive them everywhere. It also puts a definate crimp in teen dating and face it, where do most teens first experiment with sex and/or drugs? Why in a car! Not that it will put a stop to it, but it will be somewhat of a deterrent.

At 18 kids can work and pay for their own insurance.

Edited to add: Hardship licenses for special circumstances will still be available. None of my kids will have a license or car until they are 18 anyway though.
post #6 of 29
My oldest got his license at 16 and was allowed to use the family car. We paid the extra insurance, he paid part of his driver' ed. M second son paid part of his driver's ed. , but after his first road lesson, decided not to get his license. He is now 21 and still has no interest in getting it. Luckily he lives in a city with a subway system. My DD is now 16 and has paid for part of and taken her driver' ed. but is dragging her feet on getting her permit, which is fine with me. When she does she will be allowed to use the family car but will not have her own.

post #7 of 29
My ds got his license at 16 and drove our nine year old SUV (we had just bought ourselves a new car), and he pays for his own insurance. The only problem with getting a license at 18 is that many kids will be away at college and you either have no control or ability to set limits, or they will not get any driving experience at all before they are completely on their own. It depends on your child too, some are just more responsible than others. I am glad that ds will have a lot of driving experience when he leaves home, I had very little actual driving experience until after college, and I got my license when I was 17. I think it is very important to set limits from the beginning and make it clear what the consequences will be if they don't follow the rules, that and you pray, A LOT!!
post #8 of 29
My 17 yo dd has her license and got it after taking driver's ed and completing 50 hours of driving per Kansas law with a licensed adult (her step dad & I). 10 of those hours had to be at night. She had been 16 for several months prior to earning her license.

We bought dd a $600 car (so you can imagine what it looks like ) although it is in my dh's & my names.

She has to pay for gas, insurance and personal property tax. Paying her own insurance also serves as another motivation for keeping good grades since she has a good student discount.

Gotta hope that you taught them well and trust that they will have good judgement.

I'm not for waiting until 18 to get a license for many of the same reasons glh states.

Those of you without teenagers age 14 and older - never say never....you will be amazed at how much driving you do when they start activities in high school. You will be RELIEVED to have them driving themselves (as long as you can trust them and know that they will be level-headed while driving).
post #9 of 29
Hoping our children have good judgment does not make for safe driving IMHO.

What about all the other cars on the road? What if they don't have good judgment while they're driving along side your son/daughter? Maturity does play a very important part in getting behind the wheel.

Just because my 17-year-old doesn't have his license does not mean he'll have any less experience. In fact, I believe the opposite to be true. If we (my dh and I) are driving with him until he's allowed to drive solo (when he gets his license at 18) then he's getting more experience. Two more years of driving! Letting them drive alone at 16 with the hopes that they'll "get more experience" is a bit risky for me.

But like I said, it's just my humble opinion.
post #10 of 29
Yeah - it isn't MY kids I'm worried about it is all the other bozos on the road -

In the past 5 years my two oldest have been to 7 funerals for friends - 5 of those were due to car accidents that were not the childs fault. That is more funerals than I have been to in my lifetime! (Yes, I went with them - and perhaps thats where my aversion to their driving comes from)

Add to that my being hit by a drunk driver at 70 mph head on on my way home from work about 8 years ago...

And they essentially have no desire to drive anyway...
post #11 of 29
Well, my ds just turned 18 and he's had his license for 1 1/2 years. He took driver's ed from a private company and drove with me or dh while he had his permit for 6 months. I still don't think driving with a parent is the same kind of experience as driving on your own. But having said that, my ds has always been mature and responsible for his age. I will see how ds5 and dd1 are when they are that age, it could be a different story. Other people on the road will always be an issue no matter how old they are and how much experience they have. Believe me, having been through the unbearable agony and pain of losing a child (my 3 1/2 month old son-15 years ago) I do not take any of this lightly. I wait up for him everytime he goes out and he always has a cell phone with him to call us for any reason. We made tough rules concerning his driving and curfews and we make sure to enforce them as best we can. If they don't have a license you can bet they will want to get rides from friends who do and they may not always tell you if they do that. Personally, I know and trust my ds's driving skills more than his friends' driving skills.
post #12 of 29
glh, I understand what you mean about trusting your own child's driving over his/her friends. That makes total sense.
post #13 of 29
I trust my daughter's driving more than her friends' driving, too.

And glh has it right that no matter how old they are, the hazards are there. The more experience they have at learning how to deal with the hazards, the better. We limited WHERE my dd drove and how many passengers she had for the 1st 6 months she had her license.

I, of course, wait up till she is home safely. She has a cell phone to use in case of emergencies.

Of course, no one can be 100% safe, no matter whether they are driving, walking, riding a bike, flying in an airplane, etc.
post #14 of 29
We have two soon to be 16 year old ds. They say they want to drive but I have not seen them trying to get their license or a car. They need to pay for their driver's ed. and half of the car up to a predetermined amount. They will also have to pay 1/2 the insurance. neither of them have a job so I think we are safe for awhile.
I really don't mind driving them around. We have some of the most wonderful conversations in the car.It is just me and them in the car. They seem to feel less inhibited while we are driving. This is just what works for us.
post #15 of 29
We dont' have any rules, but our teens had the choice to pay for driver's ed and insurance at 16, or wait till they were 18 and then only had to pay for insurance. They choose to wait. Our 15 dd may decide differently. I would miss our talks while driving together.

post #16 of 29
I started teaching my daughter how to drive when she was 6 or 7, steering around a parking lot after soccer games. Now she's almost 10 and can drive pretty well, although she's limited to driving around the farm here and I always sit next to her. She's also already a hair until 5 feet tall. I feel pretty confident that by 16 she'll be a really comfortable driver. OTOH, Ib never sat behind the wheel of a car until I was 15 1/2, and I was a pretty cruddy driver for the first 6 months or so, just because so many things about driving were still things I had to consciously think about - I didn't have the experience.

I grew up drinking wine with dinner if I wanted it (my brother and I had our own small glasses), and being free to try other alcoholic drinks. Neither of us did much stupid crazy stuff with drinking when we were in our teens and early twenties, compared to our friends. We'd had anough experience with drinking that we kind of knew what to expect and it wasn't a big thing.

I could by wrong, but I'm hoping driving works the same way for Rain. Ask me in ten years, I guess...

post #17 of 29
Dar, I think your theory makes a lot of sense. I never worried about my kids being reckless drivers, because they had plenty of pratice before driving alone. My son-in-law, OTOH, never settled down with his driving untill his son was born! For him I think driving was a rebellious outlet. I do think it all comes back to parent-child relationships, and how we have treated our children all along.

Peace in the New Year,
post #18 of 29

that makes me feel funny! that's MY name! (short for Daryl.)

I have a just turned 17 yo dd. she got her permit a few months after turning 16 (here in MA), drove with me for a while, gradually getting out on busier roads. She is required to take 12 classes, did that (I paid, she probably could've taken them for free in pub school, if she went). Then she is also required to take, 8, i think it is, road lessons. Well, the one teacher for one of those just basically sat back and listened to his loud metal station for an hour, while she drove all over town. I shiver to think of her, green and nervous, "learning" to drive from him. She lost all interest in driving after that lesson. I feel bummed, as I thought she could do errands, drive herself to her job (not that she has one), etc.

When she turns 18, she will not be required to take state approved lessons or classes to get her licence. I think she is waiting for that. As a homescooled kid, she knows what a diff a good teacher (me) can make.

Maybe next dd, fast approaching 15, will be different about it. she is more forceful, more of a doer. I already let her drive around our very quiet neighborhood now and then.
post #19 of 29
my dd (who's just turned 16) has a little 'round the parking lot exp with her dad, & we're just waiting for the right confluence of energies to take her to the DMV for her permit (I had to send for a birth cert.- where did the other one go?- I need to go & sign things, we need either my dh to get a Fri. off & take the babies, or her dad to come with us & take the babies once my dh gets his truck fixed so I have the car big enough for 2 car seats, ETC. See? Confusing!)

No extra on the insurance for 6 months till she gets her intermediate licence, & we'll see about that- it's about 600 more a year, & she gets about that in allowance, so we can barter, or she may want a job... she will prolly hit up her trust fund for a car at 17, so I'll get to go to court & petition for that (LOVELY- there's a senile judge who barely let her get braces, even w/ dh's insurance paying half! I don't look forward to it.)

Suse (voted 'other')
post #20 of 29
As cars are the number cause of death in teenagers, I felt it a bit like reckless endangerment for me to support our children getting their licences until they were as old as possible and needed, not wanted, to drive. What does a car do for a teenager? Do any of them use it to go to the library? Does the world need more pollution? My SO, addicted to cars, fought me on this issue so though they got their permits late and their licences late it was still earlier than I wished so I have rules about driving like no more than one passenger and require them to help pay costs.

"The more you drive, the dumber you get." Repo Man
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