Should We Let Our Kids Drive Straight Away???

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    Huh? What do you think? or is it better to wait till they’re around 20 so they should mature a bit before giving them access to that immensely dangerous piece of equipment?


    Definitely wait. Look at the horrendous accident stats for young drivers.

    Feif Un

    Joseph, who says young drivers cause more accidents? Maybe it’s the inexperience which causes it, and starting at 20 won’t make a difference.

    From all my friends, very few drove like maniacs when they were teenagers first starting to drive. The ones that did still drive like that now, 10 years later.

    As I said, I don’t think it’s the age, it’s the lack of experience, which will happen at any age.

    How would you feel if your daughter was on a date with a guy who just started driving a month earlier? I bet you’d feel a lot safer if he had 5 years of experience under his belt already.


    Feif Un, from the CDC:

    Teen Drivers: Fact Sheet

    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. In 2005, twelve teens ages 16 to 19 died every day from motor vehicle injuries.

    How big is the problem, and what are the costs?

    In the United States during 2005, 4,544 teens ages 16 to 19 died of injuries caused by motor vehicle crashes. In the same year, nearly 400,000 motor vehicle occupants in this age group sustained nonfatal injuries that required treatment in an emergency department. Overall, in 2005, teenagers accounted for 10 percent of the U.S. population and 12 percent of motor vehicle crash deaths.2

    Young people ages 15-24 represent only 14% of the U.S. population. However, they account for 30% ($19 billion) of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries among males and 28% ($7 billion) of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries among females.2

    Who is most at risk?

    The risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among 16- to 19-year-olds than among any other age group. In fact, per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are four times more likely than older drivers to crash.

    Among teen drivers, those at especially high risk for motor vehicle crashes are:

    Males: In 2005, the motor vehicle death rate for male drivers and passengers ages 16 to 19 was more than one and a half times that of their female counterparts.

    Teens driving with teen passengers: The presence of teen passengers increases the crash risk of unsupervised teen drivers. This risk increases with the number of teen passengers.

    Newly licensed teens: Crash risk is particularly high during the first year that teenagers are eligible to drive.

    What are the major risk factors?

    Teens are more likely than older drivers to underestimate dangerous situations or not be able to recognize hazardous situations.

    Teens are more likely than older drivers to speed and allow shorter headways (the distance from the front of one vehicle to the front of the next). The presence of male teenage passengers increases the likelihood of this risky driving behavior.

    Among male drivers between 15 and 20 years of age who were involved in fatal crashes in 2005, 38% were speeding at the time of the crash and 24% had been drinking.

    Compared with other age groups, teens have the lowest rate of seat belt use. In 2005, 10% of high school students reported they rarely or never wear seat belts when riding with someone else. In a national survey of seat belt use among high school students:

    Male high school students (12.5%) were more likely than female students (7.8%) to rarely or never wear seat belts.

    African-American students (13.4%) and Hispanic students (10.6%) were more likely than white students (9.4%) to rarely or never wear seat belts.

    At all levels of blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the risk of involvement in a motor vehicle crash is greater for teens than for older drivers.3

    In 2005, 23% of drivers ages 15 to 20 who died in motor vehicle crashes had a BAC of 0.08 g/dl or higher.

    In a national survey conducted in 2005, nearly three out of ten teens reported that, within the previous month, they had ridden with a driver who had been drinking alcohol. One in ten reported having driven after drinking alcohol within the same one-month period.

    In 2005, three out of four teen drivers killed in motor vehicle crashes after drinking and driving were not wearing a seat belt.

    In 2005, half of teen deaths from motor vehicle crashes occurred between 3 p.m. and midnight and 54% occurred on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.


    As the mother of three daughters who are all driving, I share your concern about teen driving. But over here where I live in the suburbs driving is a necessity for them to get to college. Plus, when they get married they won’t have to learn how to drive when it’s harder cause there are young kids at home. I say let them learn how to drive (and PRAY). Also important is for them to take this special drivers ed course to educate them, and lots of lessons on the road and on the high way with a good driving teacher.


    Teach them to drive as soon as they are ready. Drive with them for the first year or so, until both your children and you are comfortable that they can drive well.

    I personally started driving when I was 16, but was not comfortable with it. I didnt really start driving until I was 20.



    your facts dont address inexperience.


    There not “my facts.” There from the Center for Disease Control.


    Nonetheless, they *still* don’t address inexperience.


    I don’t know if this applies in all states but in mine, kids under 18 must take driving classes and have 6 hours of driving with an instructor. In addition to the hours required. (And I don’t care about everyone else, we kept a log.) Those hours do make a big difference. Even though they started their instruction within the year of the state age minimum for licenses, no one had their hours in before.

    Then, once they get their license, there are still ground rules, the state’s, and the home’s.


    Inexperience is a huge factor. It’s better to let teenagers learn to drive as early as they are ready, rather than forcing them to wait, which can make them resentful. Perhaps because of the statistics Joseph quoted, laws about teen driving are getting stricter. (Maryland changed the law one month before I would have been grandfathered in. I remember being so upset!) The number of practice hours required is increasing, as is the minimum age for taking license tests. Waiting a few years is not going to make much of a difference; what will is educating teens about the dangers of driving and making sure they have no access to alcohol. Don’t be lax about monitoring the practice hours, even if it means some inconvenience, and above all, let your children know that you trust them. This is an important milestone, and it deserves some celebration.

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