Teenagers travelling in cars driven by teen mates, what's your policy and does your school have a policy?

(26 Posts)
wickedwaterwitch Mon 08-Jun-15 13:19:57

Various of ds's friends now drive and some have cars. Ds is 17.

What's your policy on your teenagers in cars driven by their mates? And does your school have a policy?

One local school (fee paying, boarding) doesn't allow pupils to drive other pupils, even with parental permission, as it considers itself in loco parentis and they feel the risk of accidents is too high. Teenage drivers have to hand their keys in as they arrive at school (day pupils).

I don't like the idea of my ds being driven by another teenager tbh and we've discussed it briefly. He thinks IABU to even think about it.

I think the insurance premiums are high for a reason and easily distracted teen boys aint the most sensible drivers. The sister of one of ds's friends was killed in a car accident last year. She was alone but was distracted and crashed.

What do you think and what do you do?

Lancelottie Mon 08-Jun-15 13:22:19

Hmm.

I'm in two minds here.

I wouldn't ever want DS to drive round with his friends. But on the other hand, I quite frequently send him out to collect his siblings (and have almost got over the palpitations when I think about All My Offspring in one car).

I have three dses, the youngest of whom is 18, so I have been through this with all of them, over the years.

I think it depends on your opinion of the teenagers concerned - as each of the boys has grown up into this stage, I have known who has been driving them around, and have been able to take a view on their common sense and whether I thought they would be safe drivers, and based on that, I have been happy to allow the boys to go in cars with their friends.

Ds3 has a number of friends with driving licences and their own cars - but there is one lad who he won't get a lift with, because he can see that this lad is showing off, behaving stupidly, and is, in his opinion, not a safe driver. Given that he (ds3) has shown this level of sense, I am happy to trust him when he says his other friends do drive sensibly.

I am not sure what I would have done, if I had felt any of them were going in cars with teenage drivers whom I did not trust - when they reach that age, it is not easy to forbid something, full stop - but I would hope that my dses would have trusted my opinion, and dh's opinion, and would have listened to our views on the subject.

wickedwaterwitch Mon 08-Jun-15 14:12:00

I'm feeling even more concerned having read this:

www.brake.org.uk/

Good point on how safe the driver is but I don't know any of these teens well enough to form an opinion really.

Imustgodowntotheseaagain Mon 08-Jun-15 16:44:26

do you mean he rolls his eyes and thinks you are U for trying to speak about it?

Can you show your DS some of the stats and have a grown-up discussion about it? He will also need to think about what to do if a friend who has been drinking offers him a lift home.

FWIW, I was nearly killed at 18, the teenage lad driving a group of us to the pub rolled the car we were in and we went off the road and on fire. Whenever I see stories of groups of youngsters killed because they've come off the road and hit a tree, or hit another car, I think 'there but for the grace of God.' But it wasn't unexpected, he'd already written off one car. Your DS knows his mates. He knows which ones are daft. Encourage him to make it to his twenties by careful choice of who drives - and this might mean you encouraging him to do the driving rather than be the driven.

Imustgodowntotheseaagain Mon 08-Jun-15 16:46:17

this page might be a good starting point for a chat: www.aviva.co.uk/media-centre/story/5482/peer-pressure-putting-unprepared-young-drivers-at-/

penisland Mon 08-Jun-15 17:25:35

I'd be concerned if kids today drive anything like we did when we were 17 although that would be slightly hypocritical as the toys have just got faster as we've got older. My unborn child has been on track and exceeded 170mph on a public road so I'm not sure how seriously she'll take me when she's 17!

Skiptonlass Mon 08-Jun-15 17:32:25

Thinking back to when I was a teen, it depends entirely on your son's friends. Several of my sixth form friends had cars and they were all very careful, almost grannyish drivers. I was too, when I borrowed my parents car. There was no speeding, no risk taking and no daft behaviour.
We took it in turns to be designated driver on pub nights and never even had one drink if we were driving.

Having said that, I did know other kids who I'm amazed survived to their twenties. Racing, drinking, etc etc. I refused point blank to get in a car with any of them, and for that I got a lot of ribbing.

It's a very tough call. I think you need to assess your son's level of maturity, his driving skills and his resistance to peer pressure. You also need to speak to him, not lecturing but as an adult, and find out how he, and his friends, drive.

TheFairyCaravan Mon 08-Jun-15 17:35:33

I allow DS2(18) to make his own judgement. He has his own car and drives his friends around. Most of his friends have cars too, and they all share the driving. The vast majority of them have black boxes fitted to their cars so they don't speed and are safe drivers.

I had the same policy with DS1(20).

Topseyt Mon 08-Jun-15 17:41:03

I find this very hard.

My DD1 is 20, and soon to take her driving test (practical, already passed the theory). Several of her friends have been driving for two or three years.

I think you really need to know the teenagers concerned. I do know my DD1's best friend. She is very sensible, and not at all the sort to let things go to her head. She had been driving for a few months before DD1 needed to go somewhere with her. By then they were both over 18, so I didn't really have full say in the matter. I managed to relax into it over time. Now that she is 20 and away at uni I really have no say at all. You just have to hope that they are sensible.

I do recall once when she was 14 she wanted to be allowed to go out in a car with a friend of a friend, who at 17 had just passed his driving test. DH and I both turned round at once then and said a firm "NO". We didn't even know the person concerned, and the idea terrified both of us.

I have yet to go through this with DD2 (16, so probably soon), and DD3 (still only 12). I can't say I relish it at all, but it is necessary, I'm afraid.

Abraid2 Mon 08-Jun-15 17:42:33

At school they have to email the head of 6th form and have the person they're driving's parents email the head of 6th form, too, if they are giving lifts to anyone in school time/on school business (on way to matches, etc). Very good policy.

Out of school, my son, in general, has, eight months post-passing his test, got to get the parents of people I don't know well to text me if he wants to give them a lift. I think the fact that all the parents know what is happening means that they are less likely to muck around. Also, my son has a black box, which records and alerts us to too much braking and acceleration, and he can use this as a reason for driving sensibly.

I don't care if I'm regarded as square--I know that my son would never, ever get over seriously hurting one of his friends, god forbid anything worse. I don't want him to have to live with that.

whois Mon 08-Jun-15 17:47:30

My boarding school had the 'no lifts with pupils' policy. Only day pupils could have a car there, boarders couldn't keep them at school. On the few occasions I was going home with a day pupil for the weekend I would just jump in their car out of sight of school buildings. It's not very realistic to expect a parent to come pick up their 18 year old who was a car for the purpose of driving to work because another friend is coming home with them for the weekend.

mileend2bermondsey Mon 08-Jun-15 17:47:49

Oh god, if we didnt car share to college I'm sure most of us would never have gone! My group of 5 of us would car share with alternate days as driver, it just makes sense. Nothing of note ever happened. I cant remember anyone rocking up to college solo unless they were late or had an odd timetable, it would have been considered selfish!

whois Mon 08-Jun-15 17:50:05

driving to school. Not work!

Mrsjayy Mon 08-Jun-15 17:50:57

Dd passed her test at 18 and gave lifts to her friends <shrug> do you think your childs friends will be stupid and not be careful when is the right age to go in a car with your mates ?

LazyLouLou Mon 08-Jun-15 17:52:23

I'm not going to chip in, last time I did I was called a liar, deluded and simply sad.

However, if I were to I'd say that many colleges/schools can rely on insurance policies restricting the number of passengers in the car. We spend a lot of time with invited speakers, some amazing and scary 'crashed car' scenarios and a lot of advice.

But we are so very rural and don't feel we can stop them (also residential and they need to get to Tesco's). Another local college does not encourage car sharing unless the car share is registered with them. That's an offshoot of the nationwide car share scheme.

TheFairyCaravan Mon 08-Jun-15 17:53:53

I don't care if I'm regarded as square--I know that my son would never, ever get over seriously hurting one of his friends, god forbid anything worse. I don't want him to have to live with that.

Neither would either of my sons, but no amount of texts between parents before the kids go out will prevent RTAs unfortunately!

Vingtdeux22 Wed 10-Jun-15 23:11:07

I would have thought that any sensible school would not permit students to give other students a lift in their cars and I am certainly aware of schools where this is the case. It is, however, very difficult to police. A student who picks a friend up outside the school grounds and does not inform the school of his/her intentions could very easily break the school policy without the school being any the wiser. Such a school could not be held liable but that would be scant comfort in the event of a RTA.

BackforGood Wed 10-Jun-15 23:47:00

I can't speak for boarding schools - presumably, as you say there is a point at which they have to step in and take the 'parenting' decisions, as the parents aren't there, but I'm afraid it's nothing to do with ordinary schools how pupils get to and from school - that's a parenting decision.

As others have said, it depends on the maturity and judgement of the individuals. My ds is 18 and I have to trust that he would use his judgement about people too. Statistically teen lads are more likely to be dangerous drivers than other groups, but that doesn't mean all of them are. It's like all things - you have to have the conversations with them over years, and encourage them to make their own reasoned decisions about things from a young age, so it comes naturally to them.

MaitlandGirl Thu 11-Jun-15 03:39:26

We have staggered driving licenses here and I won't let my kids travel in a car driven by a Red P'plater. (First stage license after passing their test).

By the time they get their Green P'plates they've been driving for at least 2years, including 12mths unsupervised.

I'm constantly out running the kids around but I'm happier and they understand why I feel like this.

MikeEhrmentraut Thu 11-Jun-15 06:18:41

To be honest, I am failing to understand why you wouldn't be allowed to give fellow pupils a lift?

These people have passed the same driving test as all of you so for you to say they're not good enough to drive your DC seems overprotective and a bit of an insult.

Like others have said, it should be up the individual to decide whether the person they are getting in the car with is reliable - I think a 17/18 yo has to be trusted to make that decision themselves.

controlaltdlete Thu 11-Jun-15 06:25:10

We've just been through this.

The Black box is very useful (no driving from 11pm-5am) and no more than one passenger for the first years driving.

It's a terrible injustice, I'm a controlling parent, DS's social life will suffer and he'll be a social outcast, his reactions are quicker than mine, blah blah.

However the person who pays the insurance is in a good position to make the rules wink

PUGaLUGS Thu 11-Jun-15 06:35:07

DS1 (will be 18 on Sat) passed his test before Christmas. He borrows my car. It has a black box fitted.

There isn't any such rule about carrying fellow students at his college nor at his old school where some of his friends are in 6th form. They lift share and they have their own car park at school.

DS has given his friend a lift on many occasion if he has had my car - he was deemed safe enough to drive by the examiner. I am happy for his friend to reciprocate.

I feel very confident to be a passenger in the car when my son is driving. If anything he is a little over cautious (and that isn't because I am in the car). He also gives his brother a lift two nights a week to Cadets.

PowderMum Thu 11-Jun-15 06:41:22

My DD1 is learning, many of her friends have already passed she is over 18 so I can't tell her what to do I have to rely on her judgement. When they went to prom 3 of the group drove, they did not drink (by choice), the group then came back to our home town and went clubbing and called DH for a lift at the end of the evening.
DD2 actually called me to check I was happy with her getting a lift from a new driver, I was happy to agree I have known the girl since she was 5.
It still doesn't stop me worrying though.

TheFairyCaravan Thu 11-Jun-15 09:19:02

The Black box is very useful (no driving from 11pm-5am) and no more than one passenger for the first years driving.

DS2 has no restrictions with his black box. It just monitors his driving and has brought his insurance premium down from £1135 to £903 since September because he drives well.

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