Anyone else believe a 16 Year old is not ready to drive yet?

Linda - posted on 03/08/2011 ( 62 moms have responded )

3

0

0

My son turned 16 in January and wants to drive badly. My husband doesn't think he should drive until he's 17 and we finally agree on something! I feel 16 is way too young and can't imagine him behind a wheel. I can't believe that legally 16 yr olds are allowed to drive. Makes me not want to get behind the wheel!

He begs and begs and we finally gave into him getting a learner's permit. We figured we'll teach him over the next year. Now he wants to go driving all the time. We've gone a few times and already he makes big common sense mistakes, although he's a straight A Honor student. He wants to take driver's ed, but I want him to take that when he's 17 and is actually ready to drive. Anyone experience the same with their teenager? He's SUCH a good kid with everything. A little smart alec but no smoking, no drinking, no drugs, and great grades. But driving is such a SERIOUS endeavor.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 03/21/2011

9,042

21

1999

Another point lots have made here: Once they are 18, in the US, they are considered an adult, and no longer need parental permission for things like driving.

So, did those of you who are planning on waiting until your kid is 18 to teach them plan on that? At that point, Suzy or Johnny can walk into their local DMV with a birth certificate, and get that license on their own. Yes, they still have to pass a driver's test, but now you won't have any control over their practice or habits behind the wheel.

I'd rather start training them at 10, and have them be responsible, than wait until 18 and end up praying that they won't kill themselves or someone else...

Patricia - posted on 12/07/2011

43

0

10

I think it's different for everyone. My daughter was responsible and mature enough to get her permit at 16. We actually had her driving in parking lots when she was 15 so she could get practice. One thing I wish I did with her was to take her driving around a cemetery before actually go out on the road. Cemetery's are great in that they have "roads" and "intersections" but no other cars. No matter what age you start driving - I think the more practice time you get in, the better.

[deleted account]

In New Zealand they can drive from 15 and my son's friend got his licence and a car shortly after his 15 birthday. Under the law he can't drive after 10pm or take passengers. He is quite a responsible kid and to start off with was quite nervous. I got my licence at 15 and it was okay. I think so long as the car isn't too powerful and they show some respect for the machine they are in control of they are okay.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 03/21/2011

9,042

21

1999

Debbie, Colorado already has a really stringent law on the books considering teenage driving...They cannot even get their full privilege license until they are 17 or older, and then only with proven, logged hours of driving. I don't remember if they instituted a driver's ed requirement or not, but I think they may have. That was signed into law about 10-12 years ago, so my memory is fuzzy, especially since we don't live there anymore. But, again, I ask you, do you want to feed paranoia? I have an impression from your post that you are hysterical on this subject. So, when your teen brings it up, do you address it calmly: "No, son, I do not feel you are mature enough to handle the terrain around here just yet", or do you freak out about how "all the roads curve, and I've seen too may accidents with 16 yr olds".

One way, your teen looks at you and says "my mom's just thinking of my safety", the other way, they look at you, say "mom's lost it, hey, jimmy, how about letting me drive your truck?".

Ultimately, you as the parent have to give them permission anyway. Here in Wyoming, you have to sign a permission slip. What does it hurt for them to be legally gaining experience under adult supervision? Actually, the first thing I plan on looking for (as soon as I can convince my son to drive) is a really curvy road, narrow, possibly even a drop off. That, and an icy parking lot, and AWAY WE GO. The only way to get them used to driving in adverse conditions is to LET THEM DRIVE in those conditions.

Stephanie - posted on 03/21/2011

7

15

0

it is serious, but so is life. you think that he makes "common sense mistakes" but how is he going to learn if he is not allowed. Each time we make a mistake, we learn from it. I think it is great that he is excited, that to me means he is ready to learn. If he was scared I would agree with you that he is too young, but he is eager.... & ready.... don't hold him back! My twin boys will be 16 on Thursday & I welcome & encourage them to do the things that 16 year olds do! I want to feel confident when they are young adults, that they have learned how to cope on their own & all of the "common sense mistakes" will be out of the way with because they have learned through them already & become more aware.
I think if he is ready, then let him!

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

62 Comments

View replies by

Erika - posted on 04/29/2013

1

0

0

Hi, I agree with you. I recently had a discussion with my husband about our son driving. My son is turning 16 this year and we did let him get his driving permit but now he wants to take the driving course. I was all for it at first but then my husband talked to me about how so many young teens die on the road because they are driving.
I agreed and now we have decided he will not be driving until his senior year. Needless to say my son is very very angry and it makes it harder because my husband is not his biological father. But he has raised him since he was 5, so I see him as his father.
Just wanted you to know you are not alone, 16 is too young to drive.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/03/2012

9,042

21

1999

Holy cow, stephanie! Does that speeding law apply to adults, as well?

Stephanie - posted on 01/03/2012

1

119

0

I have two teens ages 15 & 16 and although we have a car for them we are not letting them drive yet. They still have to take drivers ed and our state just implemented a law that if they get speeding by more than 10-15 0over the limit they will be arested on the spot. I think that makes me feel better. I'm more worried about cell phone use while driving and other teens in the car with them than I am about them driving in general.

Nelly - posted on 01/02/2012

274

2

17

We allowed our son 2 get his license at the age of 17 but he has a lot of rules 2 follow

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 12/12/2011

9,042

21

1999

Ok, ladies, I'm a surviving parent! Mine took his written on Friday, and his skills today, and passed. Not only that, but the examiner said he has EXCELLENT skills!

I was so nervous! I truly didn't think he was ready, even after all of the preparation we've done. But, he was, and is now a fully licensed driver.

Akilah, the best thing you can do for your son, right off, is BAN THE CELL PHONE, and make sure that he understands that he cannot have the radio while he's learning. If he doesn't like those rules, he walks or takes the bus.

Akilah - posted on 12/12/2011

7

20

0

I am not so into this driving thing, my son is only 14 and wants to learn.The whole cell phone thing, listening to music scares me.The only reason I would like to start training is so that I won't have to drive him everywhere.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 12/07/2011

9,042

21

1999

excellent idea about a cemetary, Patricia! I'd have never thought of that. We are working on parallel parking. it's not on his skills test, but it's my belief that he should know how, just in case.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 12/07/2011

9,042

21

1999

Kelli does make a good point, though. You can only be as safe as OTHER drivers will allow. You could be the safest driver in the WORLD and still be in an accident.

That being said, my son, at 17, will take his tests on Friday. He's been well taught, and as a topper, he's been in a vehicle during an accident. The driver wasn't paying close attention, and tried to jump a light. This was the vehicle my son was in, and since it was 2 teens, the officer (who knew both of them) made sure he gave them a very stern talking to about paying attention. (Then he called both sets of parents to let us know that the boys had been involved in an accident, and how he'd handled it with them.) His driving, which was very good before, became absolutely impeccable. He's very attentive, and actually almost too cautious. But, I'll let the examiner tell him that, if they feel it will be a problem.

We would have liked him to have a license earlier, merely for the convenience in the house. With a disabled spouse and 2 kids going opposite directions, would have been nice to have an extra driver "just in case". But, he was not ready, and he didn't want to even get his permit until he felt more confident.

Considering I have been licensed since I was 15, again, out of necessity, I still am extremely cautious, especially in a new vehicle that I'm not familiar with. Call me Granny, but I'd rather not get a scratch on my new "baby"...LOL

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 12/07/2011

9,042

21

1999

Kelli, I am so sorry for your loss...how devastating!

Kelli - posted on 12/07/2011

4

8

0

My daughter waited until she was 18 she was very responcible and took driving very serious but 3 weeks after getting her dl's she was killed in a no fault accident so I wonder if anyone is safe driving.

Vivian - posted on 12/07/2011

1

0

0

I think that they are not mature enough at that age to know the dangers on the road. 18 is a better age.

Angela - posted on 12/04/2011

2,430

9

321

In the UK new drivers have to be at least 17 and hold a provisional driving licence before they're allowed out on the road. The only 16 year olds allowed to drive are disabled people.



You're not allowed to drive unless you have a provisional driving licence - but remember it's only a provisional licence. You can only drive with an experienced driver who has held a full driving licence for at least 3 years.



You don't get your full licence until you have passed an online theory test at a UK Theory Test Centre AND a practical driving test. You're not allowed to take your practical driving test unless you've passed your theory test first. When you pass your theory test, it's valid for just 2 years. So if you've not passed (or taken) your practical driving test within 2 years of passing the theory test, you'll have to take the theory test again.



Having said all that, the younger you are when you have driving tuition, the less tuition you will need to pass your driving test. THe UK driving test is not easy but young people have more success than older learner drivers.



The other side of the coin is this: Insuring a car for a person under the age of 25 (who has a full driving licence) to be able to legally drive it is very, very expensive.



My son passed his 2nd attempt at his driving test. He was only 18. He waited until he was nearly 25 before he bought a car. Friends of his who passed after him had been driving in their own cars for years before my son bought a car. It's a status symbol for young people and to Hell with the expense. I knew a (working) 17 year old who spent half of her salary keeping her car on the road. She said "I don't care, it's worth it!"



I passed my driving test after several attempts in my 40's. I got cheap insurance straight away - in fact it was EXTREMELY cheap insurance.



I would actually encourage your son to get his driving skills in order by going to a qualified instructor for driving lessons. When he passes his driving test, discourage him from wanting to own a car too soon!

Ramona - posted on 04/02/2011

288

1

36

Not everyone has public transportation. We are not talking Europe where you can visit 10 countries in 16 hours of driving.

Dionne - posted on 03/31/2011

76

6

1

Good thing you do not live in South Dakota they let the kids drive at 14 yrs old. Crazy if you ask me!! They are definately not ready for the responsibility of driving, like you said no common sense!! What I did was sent the kids through the drivers ed class, we pay for it, they are given all the current up to date rules of the road and the laws if any have changed. They need to pass with a certain score or redo the class. They also are taught behind the wheel by the instructor so a lot of things that either changed or I forgot are taught by them. Then between the class and the behind the wheel, I taught my kids, or should I say I took them to an empty parking lot and had them practice certain things, I took them on gravel roads to practice at slow speeds. I did not rush any of this with them. I gave them lots of practice on low traffic areas before giving them higher or even medium traffic areas. Even though my daughter wanted to do it at a faster pace I told her my car my rules or you won't be driving! She respected me at that time and is a good driver. My son is still practicing and would like to find someone else besides mom to help him but he has been out with me as well and does a good job driving. He only has a permit at this time. I think you need to give him experience the common sense comes with actually doing it but maybe he is not mature enough to handle it?? I might have stepped over the boundry on that comment. Good luck with the decision. There is no rush unless they want it to be a rush. It was nice not having to do all the driving on trips when I had a permit driver, I will admit that....

Katrinia - posted on 03/28/2011

16

49

1

We live in the country so taking driver's ed was an easy decision...We were going to get her DL: @ 16 but chose not to at this time. Having a 3rd driver in your house is nice because kids LOVE to go to the store for their parents, however the cost is NOT such a pretty thing thus the reason my daughter is still only a permit driver NOT licensed. Once she gets her grades up and can show responsiblity with her chores we will talk about getting a license...she also has to have a job because I"m not paying for her gas or the full amount for her car/insurance. She needs to learn that with a license comes great responsiblity and that it is one that sticks with her....FOREVER...

Sharon - posted on 03/28/2011

120

4

18

In Illinois, driver's education is required in order to graduate high school and is offered when students are sophomores. I have three teenagers that all got their licenses at age 16. I believe in training kids while they are still under your roof so you are both confident when they leave home.

Stacy - posted on 03/28/2011

1

15

0

Sounds just like my son He turned 16 in December but acts so immature. We are so afraid to let him get his license. He is very irresponsible when it comes to little things like cleaning room and such. I can imagine him driving a car. He begs all the time also. We have not even got his learners permit yet. I think parents know best when their child is ready to drive. Will mine ever be? who knows

Julia - posted on 03/22/2011

20

6

1

I have 2 kids--one I was perfectly fine with him driving at 16 and the other was not mature enough. She is still not a confident highway driver. I say, follow your heart. You know your kids best--but also understand that at 16 even 6 months of waiting could make all the difference.

Mary - posted on 03/22/2011

3

3

0

Linda,
If you are not confident that he is ready, you MUST not let him get his license. Until he is 18 years old you are responsible for any accident that happens while he is driving. Unless you are comfortable entrusting your home to him (which is at risk every time he gets behind the wheel) and all your assets , do not allow him to drive. I love my son dearly, but I made him wait until he was 18, because he was just not responsible enough. He is not ENTITLED to drive simply because he has reached the youngest age at which he can get a license. It is a privilege to be earned. His life, the lives of everyone else on the road, and all of your assets are at stake every time he gets behind the wheel. Think hard before you allow him this privilege.

Jane - posted on 03/21/2011

2,390

262

484

Driver's Ed is a great idea. In fact, ALL drivers should have to take it periodically. As a municipal employee I had to take what was essentially Driver's Ed every two years in order to drive a city vehicle.

However, the OP asked if folks believed that 16 year olds were too young to drive. My answer is yes, because I see the statistics, I study the biology, and I also see the stupid stunts that young drivers pull. Most of the time they get away with them, but when they don't it is tragic.

With that said, I agree that sure, some kids can do a good job driving at 16. But just as many, and probably more, cannot.

One thing we keep forgetting is that in the "good old days" people were in essence an adult at 16, and in some cases at 14. My grandfather, for example, left school at the end of 8th grade because his family needed him to get a job. These days that would typically doom you to menial work, but not back then. As long as you could read and follow instructions and as long as you had a decent reputation you could get hired on and move up on your merits. I don't know when he began to drive because for a long time there was no money to buy a car.

My father joined the Navy at age 16 to go defend the world against the Nazis, and no one objected or even looked too closely at him as long as he did his job. And he, in fact, did not learn to drive until he was 26, married, and working a job that demanded he commute by car. He taught himself by reading the booklet and by driving very carefully on back roads until he felt ready to take the test.

But the same is not true today. Very few teens have had to take on the responsibilities that yesterday's kids did. Many of them are prime examples of extended childhood. They haven't learned to be defensive about much of anything, much less driving, and most haven't even known anyone that died. They take risks, some appropriate but many more of the sort considered to be stupid. They have never been taught not to take risks or to evaluate the risk in the light of its potential reward. On the sports field that may not matter so much, but on the road it can be life and death.

If your child seems to you not to be old enough to drive at 16, don't let them. If they are mature compared to their friends you can decide to go ahead. You can also limit their driving in various ways, such as requiring them to pay at least a part of the insurance cost of having a teen driver, or even by requiring them to raise the money to buy their own car and not letting them drive the family car without supervision.

There is a real reason why you have to pay so much extra for young drivers. Insurance companies are not stupid. Parents shouldn't be either. Driving is a privilege that should be conferred when the individual is ready. It isn't a right that is conferred automatically at a certain age just because we've always done it that way.

Evaluate your own teen and make your own decision based on how ready you believe your own child is. Don't just go with the flow.

Chriss - posted on 03/21/2011

34

21

5

I think driver's ed is an excellent idea they are well trained to deal with the unexpected and don't have an emotional connection with your child, the more driving experience you give him can only make him a better driver in my opinion, my daughter is 14 and already asking I said forget it until she has a learners permit but as soon as she does I will be teaching her the basic's I already ask her things about road rules and vice versa while we are driving eg she might say why is that double line there or how far from a post box can I park. If he is a good kid with everything else then you could make it like a reward, I don't think it can hurt and may also keep him occupied so that he doesn't get into any other mischief.

Belinda - posted on 03/21/2011

6

5

0

I live in Australia and here our kids can get their leaners permit at 16 and then have to do 120 hours of supervised driving before they can get their provisional license and drive on their own, we don't have drivers ed, it's up to the parents to teach, my girl has had her L's for 12 months and is still not ready to dgo into too much traffic, we stick to isolated arears until I'm comfortable with her breaking and steering capabilites. She has just turned 17 and usually at this age all the kids are driving unsupervised.

Amanda - posted on 03/21/2011

7

35

0

I shudder to think about them driving and texting and talking on the phone as well.

Debbie - posted on 03/21/2011

8

2

0

I don't care what the driving age is; i don't believe ANY 16 YR. OLD IS READY! tHERE IS JUST TO MUCH TO DISTRACT ATTENTION! There is a big difference between the age of 16 and 17! I think they should raise the driving age until 17; especially if you live in Cumberland Co. where the roads all curve! I've seen and heard of too many accidents with 16 year olds! Thery are just not ready. You can put them opff, because it takes 6 months of driving experience alsn just to ge a licnse!. Make them wait until thERE 16 AND A HALF TO EVEN GET THEIR Permit!

Anne Marie - posted on 03/21/2011

116

7

6

Deepends on the maturity of the child. My son didn't get his license until 18, yet my daughter has hers at 16. In Canada they can get their license at 15 & 1/2 if they go to drivers ed. and my youngest might.

Amanda - posted on 03/21/2011

7

35

0

I agree. For many kids it is WAY too young especially if they are ADD and get bad grades from it.... my step daughter will not be driving I suspect until she is older than 16.

Beckie - posted on 03/20/2011

2

2

0

We taught our 18 yr old to drive and now we are teaching our 16 yr old twins. Our state requires a log of fifty hours with an adult driver, ten of those at night before they take their driving test. Our oldest was very competent at 16 so we got her a car at 17 which really helped with after school activities. The twins are working on their 50 hrs. The have graduated licenses here with time restrictions etc. The only roads we haven't trained them on are two lane passing highways. I think those can wait a couple years.

Beckie - posted on 03/20/2011

2

2

0

We taught our 18 yr old to drive and now we are teaching our 16 yr old twins. Our state requires a log of fifty hours with an adult driver, ten of those at night before they take their driving test. Our oldest was very competent at 16 so we got her a car at 17 which really helped with after school activities. The twins are working on their 50 hrs. The have graduated licenses here with time restrictions etc. The only roads we haven't trained them on are two lane passing highways. I think those can wait a couple years.

Cathy - posted on 03/20/2011

9

6

0

Keep him on the learner's permit until you feel he is ready,t hen let him get his license. Taking driver's ed now will only help his driving ability and make him more aware of the pitfalls and rules of the road. The more you let him drive, the better he will be when he's alone behind the wheel. Confidence and experience are everything! Make him drive in rain and sleet and snow so you know he can handle it, even if it's for short distances.

Danielle - posted on 03/18/2011

11

13

0

I think you are his parents and know him best and no matter what the law say that he is able to drive at 16- you still have the final say as long as he is under your roof. My friedn did the same with her teen daughter, she said hes not that bright, do you really think i am going to allow her to operate a car? they didnt
I am sure a lot of your wories too are the other idiots on the road. Admitinly i worry about that too but with some serious young drivers of canada you can rest assured to know he was at least educated and trianing in how to deal with a myriad of driving situations. i realize its expensive but how can you put a price tag on piece of mind and your famillys safety? good luck

Shoshannah - posted on 03/17/2011

13

1

0

You are not alone....for sure. When my daughter turned 16, that's all she talked about. I told her that just because you turn 16, it doesnt mean that it's now your right to drive. I had the same dilemma you have going on. She is a great kid. Does well in school. No drugs, no wrong crowd, into her high school sports and academia. Well, she is 17 now and still doesnt have her license. I allow her to drive every now and then to get some practice in and we are talking about getting her permit. Im not sure how it works in your state, but in WA they dont teach drivers ed @ school anymore and she would have to do the driving class through a private company, which of course would cost a fortune. I hear what you are saying about feeling you should make him wait til he's 17 when you feel he is more ready, but here's the thing momma, and dont take this the wrong way. He's ready now, will be ready at 17...18...19, it's you who wont be ready :-) That is where I'm at and finally admitted it to myself and my daughter. Once she is 18, I cant stop her, but in the meantime, I will let her drive a lil bit here and there with me. I did have one other thing to point out to her though, besides me freaking out about it, our insurance rates will go through the roof. Therefore, she would need to step up and get a job to help cover the expense. Well, that reason for not getting her license went over better than it being about her momma worrying too much. Not that she wouldnt get a job, she just does not have the time anywhere to fit it in. I wish you the best of luck with this one.....it's tough being a kid at 16, I bet all his friends are driving and all that good stuff huh? :-) Dont ever forget though, this is YOUR kid and you still have 2 more years to set his rules. I'm sure many years down the road when he has his own children, he will understand. Until then, if you are not comfortable with it, then you go with your gut.....mom's always tend to know when the time is right. Even if we dont like it, we will give in, when the time is right :-)

Kelly - posted on 03/17/2011

12

9

1

Funny - this is a point that is driving my husband nuts. My kids are 17 and 20 and neither drives. They both do not feel comfortable behind the wheel of a car and want to wait to get their licenses. When I asked my pediatrician if this was normal when my son made this decision 4 years ago he said that it actually is. But our society says that they should be driving at that age so many fall to that pressure.
My doctor's opinion is that it really is better to have them wait and drive with a learner's permit until they feel better driving. The longer they wait, in general, is better. They have matured more, the brain center that deals with decision making is more developed so they are safer drivers.

Jane - posted on 03/17/2011

24

5

2

Sign him up for drivers ed and drive with him. In my state you need 60 hours of driving with a licenced driver plus drivers ed before you can get a licence and then it is provisional. Need to go 18 months without any problems to get a "real" licence. See how he does. My son was very scary driving with the first few months. Driving is a skill that takes time to learn. Also set down rules of what he can and can't do. Good luck.

Jennifer - posted on 03/17/2011

7

7

1

I think yourson's maturity level,sense of responsibiity,common sense etc.have to be taken into account.

My son turned 16 in September and got his learner's permit the next day.Followed up by 6 months of driving lessons.He will be able to get his liscense if he passes the driving test in May.

We have taken him out several timesin our car and he does ok but I am nervous as hell about him driving alone.I want him to understand the seriousness of driving.

I woud go with your gut feeling about your son's readiness to take such a huge responsibility on but remember,you will always be uneasy whether he's16 or 26.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 03/16/2011

9,042

21

1999

Ok, that's kind of hard.

I've had my full privilege drivers license since I was 15. I've only had 2 accidents in 25 years. Yep, have had a couple of speeding tickets, but I chose to speed, no one forced me into it.

Are you afraid that your kid will be a horrible driver? Are you worried about your ability to teach your teen to drive? If so, what are you worried about? That they will not listen well? If that's the case, then I would not teach just yet. However, if you are hesitant due to a bad experience during your own teen driving years, you are feeding a possible paranoia in your child.

My 16 yr old has no desire to learn. We've been begging him to, because it would be nice to have another licensed driver in the house for the days when we have a lot of running to do.

It sounds like you are from an area that had a higher age requirement? 16 has always been the "traditional" age to get licensed. It's been "traditionally" accepted to get a learner's permit at 15 for at least the last 30 years in our area. And, as one of the other moms pointed out, most kids in rural areas are driving from the time that they can see over the steering wheel and reach the pedals at the same time.

And, one thing I'd like to point out, EVERY driver makes common sense mistakes. What you have to do with a young driver is be extra vigilant, pointing out everything to the extreme, over and over, until they roll their eyes at you and say "geez, ma, I GET IT", and then keep right on pointing out the "common sense" things. After all, what seems common sense to you, is NOT ingrained in a young driver, and will not be until their teacher (you) beats it into their skull.

This is something that you NEED to do frequently. DO NOT make him wait until he's 17 before you set him loose. You've let him get a learner's permit, now you need to get out and teach him. I know that you don't want him to take Driver's ed, but that will help with your insurance rates, as well as giving him a good base to start from. Also, Driver's ed is only a FOUNDATION, not the full job. It's a good start, but you and his dad still need to be instructing him daily as well.

Jane - posted on 03/15/2011

2,390

262

484

I got my learner's permit at 16. However, after driving a few times I decided I was not ready and waited until I was 21 to actually start driving. And then I started on empty roads with low speed limits.

Quite frankly, I think a lot of kids are not ready to drive at 16 but peer pressure and tradition put them behind the wheel. Many US states are making it harder to get a license early or are putting graduated requirements restricting the younger drivers. In Europe it is quite difficult to get one's driver's license and it is much easier to lose it for life than here in the states. Personally I think they are on to something.

There is nothing wrong with public transportation, or even "shank's mare." In fact, the latter might help all of us with our obesity epidemic.

If you think your child isn't ready to drive, as the parent you have the right and the duty to say no or to impose restrictions. Driving is a privilege, not a right, and many Americans forget that.

Tracy - posted on 03/15/2011

19

63

1

Sixteen has been the average age for teens across North America to begin learning to drive. For as long as I can remember it has been a rite of passage for teens. I do not think it's too young at all. It is an important learning experience for them as they prepare to leave home, which most will do within 2 years! It is likely better to be well past the novice stage before they graduated from high school.

I mean how old were you when you got your learners permit? You were any smarter, or more mature than your son? Were you any less assured of your own infalability? I don't think that has anything to do with it.

The process of learning to drive is an important learning experience that you son needs. Being an honors student means that he is a smart kid who knows how to work hard & think for himself. Immaturity is normal for a kid this age. Learning to drive will be one of the things that helps him learn where is limitation are.

Taking the Driver's Ed course is a very good idea. The instructors of these courses are very good at preparing the young person for the responsibility of driving. Believe me the people who road test these kids are not going to just hand an unprepared teenage a licence. They will have to prove to the examiner that they are ready to be on the road.

From the time our children are babies there a stages at which they are often ready for new things before us parents are. You said your son is a good kid with everything. You said that he is an honors student. So you know he is a smart kid. In spite of his naïveté, he is probably more ready than you are. It's hard some times when those milestones come to let go, but it will hurt them more if you try to hold them back. I think if your son is the great kid you describe he deserves the benefit of the doubt, and the opportunity to try. He may just surprise you.

If you are a city dweller here's an idea that may make things easier. Take the kid out to the country. The best place for novice drivers to get a feel for handling the car is on the back roads where there is less traffic, and less distractions. Most kids who grow up on farms have been drive anything with wheels from the time they are big enough to reach the pedals & shift gears by themselves, & usually have several years of drivng experience just helping out on the farm, by the time they get old enough for a licence.

Here in Saskatchewan, Canada, they have something called a Graduated Licence Program. It works like this:

Learner Restrictions – 9 months

Must be 16 years old or 15 years old (.and enrolled in high school driver education

Passengers limited to number of seatbelts
Only family members can be passengers between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m.
Only the supervising driver, who must be a fully licensed driver, can be in the front seat with the learner
Cannot consume any alcohol before driving
Novice 1 Restrictions – 6 months

Must be 16 years of age, have completed the required driver education and passed a road test
One passenger only (who is not an immediate family member), and immediate family members as passengers, limited to number of seatbelts
Cannot consume any alcohol before driving
Cannot be a supervising driver for another driver in the Graduated Licensing Program
Cannot obtain a commercial driver's licence
Novice 2 Restrictions – 12 months

Passengers limited to number of seatbelts
Cannot consume any alcohol before driving
Cannot be a supervising driver for another driver in the Graduated Licensing Program
Cannot obtain a commercial driver's licence

in Alberta, Canada learners permits may be had at 14, but they must be 16 to take their road test. Their system is a little different from Saskatchewan's, but the point is the same. They are trying ease new drivers into the system by putting in place a system of check & balances that support the new drive being properly prepared to be a responsible driver.

I like these approaches. They force the child to prove beyond the road test that they are responsible to be on the road. If the system where you live is not like this it is completely your right to set your own limits on where & with whom your son may drive, once he has his licence, until you are satisfied.

Maria - posted on 03/15/2011

29

5

0

i made both my kids wait until they were 17 to get their permit. 16 is not mature enough (not that 17 is much better but that's another story). Neither of my girls had a problem with that since neither one even expressed interest in it until age 17 so that part was easy. i would have made him wait the extra year. no sense making him wait now that he already has the permit.

Diane - posted on 03/15/2011

3

1

0

I think a lot of parents think the way you do, when there boys want to start driving. When they start out, they usually make mistakes. Just keep driving with him and teaching him. Have him drive you on errands,etc and eventually you will get used to him driving. Have him drive at night, day, rain, shine, all conditions. I got thru this with two boys and it wasnt easy. I had to do about 50 hours of driving with both. They do get to be good drivers. Invest the time and set up a goal so he can get his license. He will be okay, dont be too worried. My son is 18 now and a fabulous driver. Have faith!

Jane - posted on 03/14/2011

2,390

262

484

At 16 my daughter seemed to be ready to drive, and she was pretty much. She did have one "incident" involving her car and a cement wall that she tried to hide from me (considering the car is parked right in front of the front door, that proved she wasn't entirely ready). However, she learned her lesson and followed my restrictions so we kept on letting her drive. In addition, it was vital as I was the only driver in the house at the time and I was caring for my disabled husband. I needed a way to get her to school and sports but couldn't always do it myself.

My son, however, at 16 is nowhere near ready to drive. He suffers greatly from back-seat road rage and should not be anywhere near the wheel of a few thousand pounds of vehicle. In our state he cannot apply for his learners permit without having taken a driver ed class, so until he can pass that we have a natural way to prevent him from driving.

My point is that it depends greatly on the individual child as well as on the types of roads and traffic in your area. Your child will naturally insist he is ready, but as the parent you have the right to tell him he isn't.

Although your son is a good student and reliable in other aspects of his life, if you find that he is making mistakes while driving he isn't ready. Such mistakes can result in death and injury as well as expenses you can't afford. His brain is still maturing, which is why the insurance rates are higher for young drivers, especially boys. You and your husband know your son better than anyone else, and if you both feel your son is not ready to drive do not allow him to drive. He may be angry with you, but teens are often angry at parental restrictions. Although it may be a number of years from now, he will eventually understand why you did what you did. This will probably be about the time your eldest grandchild turns 16.

As the CDC reports: "Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, accounting for more than one in three deaths in this age group.1 In 2009, eight teens ages 16 to 19 died every day from motor vehicle injuries. Per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are four times more likely than older drivers to crash." ( http://www.cdc.gov/Motorvehiclesafety/Te... )

So stick to your guns!

Joy - posted on 03/14/2011

30

25

2

I dont drive so Lilian has no choice but to learn with him.She does errands now by herself but it very limited until her car gets fixed.

Krystel - posted on 03/14/2011

33

24

5

lol my hubbys a longhaul truck driver, thats why i let him let her drive when hes in.

Joy - posted on 03/14/2011

30

25

2

With my daughter she is a good driver but her dad is a truck driver and see how crazy people drive.She has a few friends who have cars and drive and have no tickets but I am just very cautious.

Krystel - posted on 03/14/2011

33

24

5

my daughter just turned 15 in Feb. she took drivers ed in Oct. & done the driving part in Jan. She now has her permit. She can only drive if one of us is with her. But we let her drive on the weekends when my hubsand is home. & she does pretty good. She can't get her DL's untill she is 16. But I don't think she cares if she drives or not, sometimes she wants to & sometimes she dont. But if u decide to let ur child drive let them learn on back country roads that dont have alot of people on them. then work them around others like in town or so.

Marilyn - posted on 03/14/2011

11

12

0

I agree totally that 16 is too young to drive. Unfortunately, I gave in to my 16 year old and let him drive. He had three accidents in the first year. No serious injuries; but a lot of damage to the cars. If I had to do over; I would have waited until he was 17.

Joy - posted on 03/14/2011

30

25

2

I agree.My dd is very mature and responsible but no 16 y/o is ready for the road these days. We let my daughter get her license but she his limited when driving our car.She bought that needs work but we have stalled on getting it fixed until we feel she is more ready.dont tell her though.LOL

[deleted account]

They will do great you are the parent and you did a good job trust in yourself that you taught them well my kids are doing great one is almost 17 and the other is almost 19 they were taught by me when they were young out of necessity to drive their 85 year old grandma they are good students (I think for me to keep the discount with insurance) check with your agent but they have to have the learners permit one year before 18 years old to qualify or else its real high I made that mistake with one he had no desire to learn had to shove him cost me a fortune in insurance 18 with learners permit, if 15 or 16 with learners they do not even charge you, check with agent

Maggie - posted on 03/13/2011

3

12

0

I think 16 is too young to drive due to lack of being responsible. Too prove this point to my children, I made them a deal... when they showed that they were responsible enough to save half of the $550 driver's training tuition, I would sign them up for it. My son got his driver's license a few years after moving out and my daughter (17) just started driver's training in January.

Angela - posted on 03/12/2011

8

14

0

I would only let him drive with you or your husband in the car, as he gets better , then allow him to go short distances like the store on his own. But that is over time, my daughter is sixteen I started with her at 14 just so she will be comfortable behind the wheel. I had her in big parking lots and in the driveway.

Ramona - posted on 03/12/2011

288

1

36

Depends on the kid. Illinois has the toughest driving laws for youg people in the US. You have to go to a registered school, all public HS offer drivers ed, ad it is a graduation requirement. You can go to a private school and bypass the school's drivers ed, there are extra fees for taking it at school or else where. You have to be 15 to get your permit. You have to keep it for 9 months and be over 16 to get your restricted license. Then it is only good at certain times, and you can only have 1 non-related person with you, etc.... My dd is 16 and is doing great driving. She takes a car to work, does some errands for us and such. I loved driving as a teen and she does too. I think that you should learn young, it will become more natural.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms