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Driver's license yes or no?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
My son will be eligible for his permit in another month or so. My first reaction was to not sign for a driver's license until he was 18. I'm thinking of his maturity level, decision making, safety and lives of him, his passengers and the public at large. I'm sure many parents are hesitant about their teens driving. I was very firm about the no.

Now, however, I'm starting to reconsider. I am a single mom, we live in an area where we do not have any relatives and close friends. I am now pg and started thinking about the What ifs, emergencies, etc. I have been very fortunate to have been able to drive myself whenever I've fallen ill (not that that is the safest practice), but now I'm thinking about what if I have to be put on bedrest, or what happens after I deliver/in hospital. I have friends that would drive me there and pick me up, but in the meantime said teen would be home with his young sibling without transportation.

I would not want him to just drive all the time, but know that the more you drive, the better you become. I wouldn't want him driving just to hang out with friends, etc. However, I don't want him to feel like the taxi driver either.

Any thoughts on how you would handle this?
post #2 of 17
I would rather have my child learning to drive and become responsible while he is still a minor and legally in my control, than 18 plus and doesn't legally have to answer to me.
post #3 of 17
OH heck yes... Logan got is lic 2 months ago and it is WONDERFUL. In MD he has to have his lic for 5 months before he is allowed to drive unrealated minors. He drives himself to his job, practice, picks up his brother runs his brother to a friends. It was the best decision Ive made. He is responsible and I love to have the extra power At anytime before his 18 bday I could legally take his lic away and he knows it
post #4 of 17
I was worried about this too. But, I have to agree with pp that I'd rather have him learn to drive while have some influence. My son really surprised me when he started driving. He was very careful, mature and took it seriously. I think letting him drive boosted his self- confidence and was very positive. He felt like I had given him some trust and he returned it by acting very mature behind the wheel. He is now a very good driver and I would rather he drive than me- much more on his toes.......

As for making him a taxi- I have had to control myself. I do not ask him to pick up his siblings unless I am really sick, stuck or once in a while. I do ask him to stop at the store on occasion. At thos etimes I make sure to say thanks and show appreciation. Occasionally I throw gas money his way- especially if it is out of is way (he works for his own gas money)

Michelle
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThreeBeans View Post
I would rather have my child learning to drive and become responsible while he is still a minor and legally in my control, than 18 plus and doesn't legally have to answer to me.
I'm still a good 5 years away from this bridge, but this seems logical.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
thanks so much for these responses. It never ocurred to me about learning while still "under my influence". Makes total sense. I will follow through with the license. He will not have his own vehicle however, will have to drive the minivan. How uncool is that.
post #7 of 17
DH and I have talked extensively about this. We initially thought 16 was good, until we moved to FLorida. No way I'd want my kids driving unassisted around here at 16. We've pretty much settled on them getting their license at 17 and spending the following year driving while we are in the car. It wouldn't be an issue if the kids wouldn't have to drive on US 19 to get everywhere.
post #8 of 17
I agree with Pancake - 17 and with lots of parental supervision.

Kathy
post #9 of 17
Wow . . . . my kids would have to be awfully immature for me to refuse them a license and a car/truck. We live on a farm and they will be able to get their farm licenses a year before they would be eligible for regular licenses, and I'd love for them to get their licenses then so that they will have an easier time working, getting to extracurriculars, etc.
post #10 of 17
experience is good. But... oh gosh, you probably don't want to hear this. None of this is to scare you or worry you, just know that whatever time you decide to let your child get their licence could have a number of outcomes and most aren't so bad. You could aslo concider letting him get his permit asap but, not let him get his licence unitl he is older. That would keep the first 2 years of his driving under your supervision... instead of the usual 6 months.

Ok now heres the bad part. I was a good kid. Good grades, no alcohol, no smoking, no drugs, no parties, came home on time, good friends, stayed out of trouble, not one tardy to class or referal at school, no cussing, no innappropriate sexual activity, no troube of any sort all through childhood. I had a great relationship with my mom (whom I lived with) and respected her very much. I got my permit as soon as I turned 15. Drove everywhere with my mon. My mom was a very safe driver so I learned from the best. I logged more hours behind the wheel than any other kid ever had in my school drivers ed class. I aced all of my drive tests in class and for my drivers licence. I got a 130% A+++ in drivers ed. I came from a car family and my brother is also involved in competitive (the legal kind at a raceway) driving.

So, because I was a good kid my dad bought me a car and I was able to get my licence 1 day after turning 16. This was back before there were any restrictive laws for fresh drivers. We didn't have to have another licenced adult in the car and could have as many people with us as we wanted.

From the first day I got my licence, with all of my awesome driving skills, lessons, traffic safety classes and supposed common sense... I drove like a crazy person. Sure, I was a great driver, but stupid. I think within the first month a managed 133 mph. thank GOD I didn't go off the road at those speeds. So, I thought this new toy was great. I drove anyplace and everyplace and as soon as I was out of city limits I went like a bat out of hell. One night, myself a 3 friends were screwing around before a football game. Luckily I had enough sense to ALWAYS make my passengers wear a seatbelt. All 3 of my passenger that day and myself had our belts on. And that is the only reason I am here to type this. I was fishtailing (for fun) on a dirt road and lost control. I'd done it plenty by myself and handled my car well. It wasn't quite the same with the weight of 3 more people and loud music. I paniced and fliped (yes, flipped not rolled) into the ditch. We're all alive and well today. For most kids that wouldn't have been enough to curb stupid driving. For me it was. Since that very day I have not knowingly gone more than 5 over the speed limit unless passing a slow vechile. I have not gotten any tickets, violations, or been pulled over for my driving. That was in 2000. Now, while I'm glad I had that wake up call I can't say that it would have been enough for other kids. Make sure your child KNOWS it can happen to them. I was a bright kid who made good decisions and this one still bit me in the butt. Thank goodness it did when I was only going 38mph. And always, always, always remind your child that even good drivers need to wear seatbelts because there are crazy people out there on the road who drive I like did when I was 16.

Ok, so that isn't to scare you. I just promised myself I'd be living proof for young drivers. It may make me sound bad or like I was some selffish teen but, if it saves someone I don't care how it makes me look. I drive great now and have for the last 8 years so I can be an example of both a bad driver and a good driver. Also, insurance is a life saver!
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
I am so glad you are here to post this. I'm going to copy it and have him read it. He has also had a program at school aimed at teen drivers revealing footage of actual car crashes.
post #12 of 17
My son has been drivng for nearly 3 years. It has been a great help. He got his permit at age 15 (in Fl.) and license at age 16. I do have tons sof supervison,espiclaly at first. I am very prooud of him. I do not let him drive toehr kids unless I am very sure of the situation.
My daughter just got her permit April 16, her 15th birthday. I see drving as a privilege not a right. For her, as my son scertaint hings prevail lkie having enoguh rest. For her, she has to wear her glasses. She was angry after volleyball camp last week and started taking off in the car (with me there) and I aksed her to please drive home and she refused so ther will not be driving for a week.
I also believe in tons sof experince with parental guidance when they have their permit.
I pernally think the problem tends to be inexeprince vs. age. A 18 year old inexperinced driver is not that dafe. The maturiyt lievl may or may not be that much greater.
Sallie
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by shibababy View Post
I am so glad you are here to post this. I'm going to copy it and have him read it. He has also had a program at school aimed at teen drivers revealing footage of actual car crashes.
I missed the crash footage in my drivers ed class. They started showing it the year after. Oh and as far as the rest of the story. I just worsened my back and hip problems with the wreck, 2 of my passengers got out seemingly unharmed, and the other, my friend sitting behind me, she was a horrid bloody mess at the scene. That image is burned into my mind. She had facial wounds that required stitches and also had 2 slipped discs that meant she would be spending the next few years visiting a chiropractor and physical therapist. Every day at school I had to look at her bruised, stitched up face. Her yearbook photo that year shows the 2 scars across her face. That summer she had to do her senior photos and those showed her scars as well. She is doing great now and doesn't have any lasting issues that I'm aware of. She's currently a flight nurse in Iraq so I assume she withstood military training just fine.

The next 3 to 6 months following the wreck for me was filled with depression, embarrasment, serious guilt, and not wanting to get near the drivers seat of a car. I did get through all of that a better person and chalk it up to good experience but, I would certainly rather that teens get their wake up calls from people like me rather than personal experience like I did. I'm one blessed, lucky, person to be so able bodied and alive. The roof of my car just happened to bubble up rather than crush down over the one person who did not bend forward and put their head down in the wreck and the only 2 windows that didn't break and shatter were the side window and side of the front windshield near the only person who did not close their eyes to avoid damage.... that one person was me. Fingernails shoved into the wheel, back and head pressed to the seat, eyes wide open. Now explain that one!

Ok, I'm done now, promise.
post #14 of 17
We let DS1 get his permit at 15.5 and license at 16. He took the test a day after a major snowstorm and managed to pass. He was very supervised at first. It was nice not to have to pick him up from basketball everyday! He wasn't allowed to have passengers at first either, not for the first year actually, then only in daytime hours, then of course, dating. Much better for them to learn under your supervision.

DS1 (now age 19) had an accident this past December on an icy highway, spun out across four lanes and hit a concrete barrier. Scary, scary, scary - but he walked away just fine. Due to the fact he was in a eco destroying gas guzling tank, also known as a Ford Expedition. We were so, so lucky he wasn't hit by another car or flipped or ... I will say that scared the beejeezus out of him and he is a much more cautious driver now. He wasn't speeding or even going near the speed limit when he had his accident, it was just pure ice, pure accident. Now he knows that you call in when it is that bad!!

So I say let him get his permit and then assuming he appears ready, let him get his license. And yes, the minivan is soooo uncool but it holds a lot of people so be sure no riders at first!
post #15 of 17
i agree with what others have said about them learning while you can be the one to teach.

also, im sure you have, but i like to stress the part about actually having this same conversation with him. tell him flat out your concerns about maturity. and set the rules, as well as the room for a little give when he does start to show more growing up.

and your right, it could be a godsend in an emergency
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pancakes View Post
We've pretty much settled on them getting their license at 17 and spending the following year driving while we are in the car. It wouldn't be an issue if the kids wouldn't have to drive on US 19 to get everywhere.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
I agree with Pancake - 17 and with lots of parental supervision.
I agree with Pancakes & Kathy. We didn't let oldest DD get her full license until age 17, and we're planning the same approach with our twins.
post #17 of 17
I left it completely up to my kids when they got theirs. Here, you can get a learners at age 14 and a full license at 16. So far, only 18 yo ds has his learners, and he just got that last week! And mainly because he needed the picture ID 16 yo ds has tried for his learners a number of times and not passed the test, and 14 yo dd is totally uninterested in driving.

It may have something to do with the fact that they aren't allowed to get their full license till they have their own vehicle.
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