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To worry about my DD being with her mates at 17 who just passed their driving tests?

(47 Posts)
skyblue11 Thu 03-Oct-13 19:09:53

So two out of the 6 of her circle of friends have just passed their tests, they are now obviously wanting to be driving around the city and taking their friends shopping or on nights out.
It drives me insane with worry, especially with the dark nights looming, I know I can't wrap her in cotton wool forever but I am struggling here.

Beastofburden Thu 03-Oct-13 20:57:54

My only advice is to make sure she is the driver. So get her through her test and buy her a Volvo. If you offer to pay the fuel and buy her a cute car they will all use it fast enough.

This is what all my more rural friends have done. I haven't only as Ds1 doesn't need lifts given where we live.

EugenesAxe Thu 03-Oct-13 20:48:52

YANBU in my opinion. My mate was an actuary and showed me this death rates chart that had a swelling around 17-25 before dropping off again - he casually said 'that's the accident and suicide bump'.

Having said that... you kind of just need to let fate take its course. I've had two near potential-death crashes (ie. I didn't crash but had to swerve and if anyone had been in the swerve pathway I'd have probably died), and I've done some other stupid car-related things.

Whenever I have those stupid night-worries about the DCs (only 3 and 1!), and imagine them having car related deaths, organ donation is about the only thing that keeps me going.

goodasitgets Thu 03-Oct-13 20:44:44

I passed at 17. Was given an old car and basically if I kept it nice, had no points, no accidents, not so much as a parking ticket I got another car - that incentive worked!
My dad always said if I was in a car no matter where I was and I was scared or they were driving too fast or any reason I was unhappy, to get out as soon as I could and he would get me
Tbh I am the sensible one and the only one that hasn't crashed. I have told someone to slow down, they wouldn't, so I got out at the traffic lights because I felt unsafe
A lot of it is gut instinct, how are they driving, how are they taking the corners? And not loads of screamy passengers and loud music

StickEmUp Thu 03-Oct-13 20:41:22

Sky Okay cool.

Well I don't have kids and alot of posters share your concerns so there are some I imagine (from someone not in your position)

I remember having motorway lessons and this was a couple of weeks after I passed.

when just pulling away from my motorway lesson I realsied I wasn't 'feeding the wheel' and I told him!

He said 'well I didn't notice because I am texting'

We were not on the motorway yet and this is a man who saw me cry etc a few short weeks before.

But after passing, he thought of me as a driver and only really woke up on my lesson when it was the motorway.

so I think, well he's passed so must be okay.

then again, I hate having to talk to passengers, I like my music on and just me!

GetWhatYouNeed Thu 03-Oct-13 20:37:18

It's another one of the worrying things you have to let your chidren do as they grow up. My children have summer birthdays so learned to drive later than their friends and to be honest I was mightily relieved when they could drive themselves rather than have lifts with friends. I used to ask them what their opinion was of friends' driving and kept reiterating that they should never get in a car with anyone whose driving made them feel unsafe.

I told them that if they were ever concerned that a friend had been drinking they must phone me and I would pick them up. Actually the friends seemed to be safe drivers and drink driving or speeding was never an issue.

It's a terrifying thing but just something you have to get used to. When mine started driving by themselves I used to make them text me when they had got wherever they were going and when they were setting off home. I was less panicky with my second child but drummed in to both of them that if they speeded or had an accident that was their fault the cars would be taken away from them. They are both good drivers and DS car insurance has dropped from over 2500 to £450 due to 2 years no claims.

MummyofIsla Thu 03-Oct-13 20:36:35

In my experience (as a pretty wild teenager not so long ago) the more you try to protect her the more she is going to try her luck. Better to just be supportive and explain to her your worries.

And hey if she's off to uni soon (again from personal expereince having only graduated in June) this will be the least of your worries. My mum used to phone me every night to make sure I made it home from the pub alive wink

Plomino Thu 03-Oct-13 20:34:52

My son is currently learning to drive . A lot of his friends have either passed and have their own car , it being very rural here , or are learning . I'm not particularly happy about it to be honest . The roads round here are very unforgiving if you make a mistake , with very big ditches either side and very uneven surfaces . Couple that with over confidence , and lack of experience , and accidents are bound to happen . One of his friends died , overtaking in the fog and hitting an oncoming lorry . DS1 was part of the guard of honour at his funeral . Another 18 year old died in our village when he hit a dip in the road doing 70mph , flipped the car and ended up upside down in a field .

I've dealt with a few horrific accidents involving young drivers over the last twenty years , including one that died in my lap despite us doing everything we could to keep him going. The worst bit that upsets me to this day , was his mum turning to me at the inquest and thanking me for making sure her son wasn't alone . So the thought of me being that mother is a fear that's always there for me right now.

In the last year I've made use of every lift I've given DS1 ( and that's a lot!) to explain about hazard perception , about driving in different road conditions , and about how 'red mist' can cloud our judgement . I've tried to pass on a lot of the wisdom I was taught from my driving courses , of which the most important thing we are taught over and over and over , is that no call is urgent enough to justify an accident . I translate that into 'better late than never' . It sounds boring as hell , but we've had some interesting conversations . I just hope it works .

I suspect my dad felt exactly the same way . I know that he never slept at night until I came home once I'd got my licence , but he never let on. I think it's a leap of faith , but its not easy . Not at all .

MummyofIsla Thu 03-Oct-13 20:34:44

I personally think you just have to trust your DD to be sensible. My sister is 18 and when she passed her test my parents were exactly the same but in the end she is a sensible girl who knows about the dangers, as i'm sure your DD does too.

NoComet Thu 03-Oct-13 20:31:21

YANBU
But a no passenger rule in rural areas would be ignored just as much as the MW speed limit.

I certainly will continue taxi service duties as much as possible, but there will come a time when the DDs learn to drive themselves and I have to accept that.

I went from a very rural area with one set of hazards to a huge city with a whole raft of new ones. Roads had two lanes for a start confused.

I bought an AtoZ and I drove round and round and round on a quiet Sunday, until I knew which lane to be in to get into the car park and how to get back to my flat (not trivial it was awfully sign posted and required grossing three lanes of traffic at the back of the station) I quickly learned taxis have no manners.

I had a ball, DDad, back home must have been worried sick. Giving me the car was an act of faith that I'd be safer driving myself, than accepting lifts or using the night bus.

That's what parenting is, having faith in our DCs and learning to trust them, it isn't always easy.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 03-Oct-13 20:17:36

I sympathise, it is a worry, it takes a long time to relax when they reach 17 and are off.

I worried when my DCs first passed their tests, I worried when their friends started turning up to collect them but tbh, more than any times being driven by or as passengers in friends' cars, when one of my DCs drove the other anywhere, I was nearly having kittens, suppose they crash? What if....?

Yet they are both sensible drivers and a lot of their driving was confined to round town, 30mph - 40mph at most, often 20mph. They weren't likely to show off in our runabout and unruly passengers got dropped off if they were even allowed onboard.

I have moved to a new area, I have been driving 20+ years and today I felt out of my depth for the first time since passing. My reactions are slower than DCs I expect.

When DH learned to drive he didn't have to wear a seatbelt and of course no airbags then.

Keep vehicles maintained and trust in your DCs' ability.

peppermum Thu 03-Oct-13 20:09:50

My niece was being driven by a friend at the age of 19. The driver got into a silly race with an ex-boyfriend on a duel carriageway, the car overturned and my niece died.

My DS is 17 and learning to drive. I want him to be master of his own destiny and not relying on other people for lifts.

Doesn't stop me worrying though..

skyblue11 Thu 03-Oct-13 20:08:12

Defensive passenger?I am sure she'd be assertive enough to say slow down or turn the music down but....
I think the type of friends she has aren't likely to be daft and show off it's just they are inexperienced and there isn't a right time when ill feel right about it really, I guess it's another thing to get used to...I'm sure my parents didn't worry about me like this, then again I wasn't in that position at 17

specialsubject Thu 03-Oct-13 20:02:36

you can't stop her, as mentioned. But the idea that they are good drivers because they have passed their test is laughable. Almost everyone you see on the road has passed their test. They tailgate, they brake/accelerate/brake, they jabber on the phone or text..terrifying.

new drivers are not much worse but they tend to be bad, faster. Boys have a 1 in 4 chance of a BIG crash in the first year. That is a flowers-on-a-tree crash.

no, of course they aren't all crap - but your daughter needs to learn to be a defensive passenger. 4 kids in a car is a massive risk due to showing off and lack of concentration.

LittleMissWise Thu 03-Oct-13 20:01:31

Sorry, my post is meant to read if they get 6 points in the first 2 years!

Talking and typing is not good for me!

LittleMissWise Thu 03-Oct-13 19:56:04

My neighbours boys passed their tests at 17. One wrote off 3 cars within the first 6 months. The other wrote off 2. Says it all really.

DS1 is 18. He and all his friends can drive, most passed their tests at least a year ago. Not one has written a car off yet. I don' think one of them has even had an accident tbh.

DS1 has done PassPlus. He is a good, confident driver. I have no problem with him driving DS2 around. He sometimes drives his friends home at 3-4am, sometimes they drive.

I have to say this, and I drive DS2 to school every day so get stuck behind see a lot of 17 year old drivers, the vast majority of them round here adhere to the speed limit. They can only get 6 points in the first two years, then their licence is revoked. They have to reapply for their provisional, retake their theory and practical test. That is a risk most of them, I know anyway, don't want to take.

When I look at some of the old people on the roads, and the way some people on here say they drive, I would much rather get in the car with a young driver.

Bowlersarm Thu 03-Oct-13 19:55:37

I can't see whether you have said whether she is learning to drive?

Topseyt Thu 03-Oct-13 19:54:39

I absolutely understand this. It has been on my mind for some time. My eldest daughter is now 18 and has just gone off to uni. She hasn't yet learned to drive because paying for the lessons and also for the insurance has been a problem, but a number of her friends have. She will learn herself when she gets a part time job.

She has been out with some of her friends driving, and the first few times I was absolutely having kittens, but at her age I do have to let it happen. They were all girls, and I happen to know them. They are ultra-sensible on the road and I have never heard of any of them breaking "the rules" as far as I am concerned - i.e. no drink driving, no speeding.

I really do know how you feel though. When my daughter was 14 she asked to go out with a friend of hers who had a 17 year old boyfriend who had just passed his driving test and wanted to take them out. I said a firm NO to that one, and would again too. But at 18 now, not that much older than your daughter, she is away from home and making her own decisions. It is hard. Very hard. But I have no influence anymore and have to hope she remains sensible enough to make the right ones.

littlewhitebag Thu 03-Oct-13 19:53:02

It would depend on who was doing the driving. When my DD was 17 two of her friends passed their tests but they were both careful drivers and sensible girls. It didn't stop me from worrying but i didn't stop her from going. I still worry when she drives anywhere even though she is now 21. I don't think you ever stop worrying.

skyblue11 Thu 03-Oct-13 19:52:20

StickEmUp....both I think, and just what the basic facts are, also there are always more accidents the week that the clocks go back, some people don't adjust to the dark and driving. I'm just wracked with anxiety about the whole thing but I don't want to be a party pooper!

skyblue11 Thu 03-Oct-13 19:48:10

The car's are nearly always small lightweights, they have to be to afford the insurance which is sad...but a fact

JustinBsMum Thu 03-Oct-13 19:41:54

Depends on the friends imo.

Ime my DCs were fully aware of no drink driving laws and stuck to that rigidly, are the friends likely to not keep to the rules? They also stuck to speed limits, in fact were very sensible.

Also she must always wear seatbelt, so no overcrowding of car allowed.

And do all their cars have 2 front air bags? Sometimes old bangers didn't - only the drivers side !!! But that might have changed nowadays.

StickEmUp Thu 03-Oct-13 19:38:15

Is it just the age or the new driver part? I'm a new driver but then again I'm 30 smile

skyblue11 Thu 03-Oct-13 19:36:03

I would rather fetch her myself than her be at risk but like others have pointed out she'll be at uni soon.....scary scary times to be a parent, not enjoying this phase at all

skyblue11 Thu 03-Oct-13 19:34:29

Zia, yes she has seen all this stuff, they ran a graphic film at school but I think as it's her girlfriends who are sensible she thinks it will be different

Fairylea Thu 03-Oct-13 19:34:25

My dd is only 10 so I have a while to worry about this but I can completely understand how worried you must be. There are lots of teenage drivers in our rural village and sometimes they do drive like maniacs and it scares the living daylights out of me. I honestly wish they'd raise the age for driving, I think very few 17/18 year olds have the understanding of the fact they are effectively behind the wheel of a serious weapon.

I think when dd gets to that sort of age I will make sure she always knows she can rely on me to pay a taxi fare at the other end instead of her accepting a lift from a drunk friend or one who drives dangerously. I would hope and pray she has the sense to make the right choices with things like this.

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