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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.

Quangle Thu 03-Oct-13 19:13:59

No experience but I would not permit it. I think the govt was considering a "no passengers" rule for new drivers for this very reason. Not sure how it would work in practice but I would definitely not want my DCs being driven anywhere by 17 yos. Watching for more informed advice.

skyblue11 Thu 03-Oct-13 19:16:00

All of her other friends parents are OK with it, but she says when will I let her? Unfortunately at 18 she can make her own decisions and I'm out of if, they're just so inexperienced on the road and I know how distracted they could get. I also know that RTA's are the biggest killer of 18-25 year olds.
It's really hard.....

janey68 Thu 03-Oct-13 19:16:04

It's understandable to worry but realistically before long they'll be adults and can do what they like anyway.

Reinforce all the right messages- never get in a car with someone who may have been drinking, or who drives too fast. But other than that: they will want to travel with friends and I think you just need to accept that you will worry but the worries will lessen as time goes by

skyblue11 Thu 03-Oct-13 19:17:33

Just to add, she says (rightly so) they passed their test so they are good drivers but I just add they have no road experience, speaking as an ex biker I know how bad the roads are...

carabos Thu 03-Oct-13 19:19:42

I wouldn't permit it either and didn't when DS2 and his mates passed.

Think on this - the Chief Constable of Wales (I think) stated publicly that he would much prefer his teenage daughter to walk home unaccompanied in the dead of night than get in a car with a new male driver of the same age, such is the relative danger.

janey68 Thu 03-Oct-13 19:20:04

I wouldn't go down the route of not permitting it for a 17 year old.
It's different if you're talking about a 14 or 15 yr old: you have much more authority over them and I wouldn't want my child of that age in a car with a 17 yr old

But I've never had much time for parents who think they can 'not permit ' things right up to the age of 18. It's really poor preparation for the second they turn 18 and can do whatever they like: go where they want, with whoever they want and come back when they want.
Far better to accept that freedom and responsibilties is a gradual thing

everlong Thu 03-Oct-13 19:20:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Maggietess Thu 03-Oct-13 19:20:54

Yanbu. My sister is significantly younger than me and I remember being panic stricken when she was that age so can only imagine how poor parents feel.
My parents had a rule that in the year a friend was on their "R"s then we were only allowed in the car if we were the sole passenger (ie not a crowd of giggling girls distracting the driver) and not at all to take lifts from these friends at night during that year. Bit embarrassing explaining it but it was fine really.
Actually I think they are changing/have changed the law here In NI something like that for nights. It's along the lines of no passengers outside family between 10pm and 7am.
Also as my dad had taught us to drive (as well as an instructor just before the test) and he had us sooo well drilled about safety and distraction I didn't tend to want to get in my friends cars as I could see they weren't all good drivers. Parents were happier for me to the driver than someone they didn't teach well.

homebythesea Thu 03-Oct-13 19:21:56

The harsh reality is that the biggest killer of teenage girls are the teenage drivers of cars they are in.

However as you say she is an adult and so you just have to hope that the good sense you have spent the last 18 years teaching her will come to the fore when out with her mates.

Won't stop you worrying though.

Seriously considering buying my teen a smart car so he won't be able to take passengers grin

skyblue11 Thu 03-Oct-13 19:22:23

Janey.....I have to make matters worse our neighbours daughter was in a really bad crash her friend was killed she was 'lucky' ended up being in a coma for months but thankfully is recovering...always at the back of my mind. On this occasion they got in a car with people they didn't know (I know, I know) but because these are her friends it's different, it's just the inexperience and I don't know when I'll feel right about it...

janey68 Thu 03-Oct-13 19:27:23

It must be all the worse if you know someone who's been involved in a horrible accident. But maybe this knowledge will help your dd be even more ultra careful?

I really do understand how anxious you must feel, but I still think not permitting something is just not the answer for 17 year olds . Young people need to hear the right messages and be given gradually increasing freedom. When they are 18 they may leave home; go off to Uni, do whatever the hell they like basically. It's ridiculous to think there is any value in controlling their movements up to then

Mandy2003 Thu 03-Oct-13 19:27:42

It's a shame we don't have the R plates mentioned in Northern Ireland here in the UK. It would make rules much easier to enforce. If the government could be bothered to implement rules to save lives, that is.

JGBMum Thu 03-Oct-13 19:27:48

No advice but wanted to sympathise. We were in the position of DS being the driver, as despite being one of the youngest in his group, he passed his test fairly quickly.
It is scary, I was always concerned that the passengers would distract him, and it's pretty rural where we are, so although there are street lights in town , within a few minutes you're driving on unlit country roads.

We generally tried to encourage DS to drive locally, and made sure that if he was going a bit of a distance, he had driven there before on his own in daylight.

Apart from insisting that we would drive him/them home from parties, there really wasn't much else we could do. But I was/am always more worried when he has friends in the car.

Do the police visit the school with the road safety roadshow? I think the videos in that are pretty graphic, and tend to be a sober reminder to take care.

skyblue11 Thu 03-Oct-13 19:27:53

I know I can't stop her, 17 or not, it's her decision but I'm so worried it's crazy. I've never been harsh on anything so it's not a case of her turning 18 and going mad....I think it gets harder being a parent as they get older not easier!!!

Quangle Thu 03-Oct-13 19:28:11

The other option homebythesea is to buy a second hand Volvo or something. This is the only wise thing I've ever heard Jeremy Clarkson say - that he wishes parents wouldn't buy cheap, tinny cars for their DCs thinking that they are bound to have scrapes so better to save the good car for later....he says it's better to buy something robust that might protect them if they misjudge something.

FlapJackOLantern Thu 03-Oct-13 19:28:32

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.

phantomnamechanger Thu 03-Oct-13 19:29:09

I think parents need to educate their kids before they get to driving age TBH. Being able to make a judgement about whether someone is behaving responsibly, feeling confident enough to challenge a friend to slow down, turn the radio off, decline a lift if you feel unsafe etc are all important things.

we have had numerous fatal accidents round here involving speeding teens, cars racing/overtaking/showing off - all completely preventable

DDs school, is introducing some kind of PHSE programme about all these things this term - we had a letter home saying they realised it may be emotive for some families but that they hoped parents would still see the value of it.

silverten Thu 03-Oct-13 19:29:12

I was pondering this the other day. Don't know why, DD is only three!

I was thinking that applying the condition that the first instance of speeding/points on any of her friends parts would get instant withdrawal of privileges- so she simply wouldn't be allowed to give or receive lifts any more, or possibly for a longish period like six months.

Any speeding/points on her points and she'd lose the use of the car immediately. Reinstated only when she paid the extra insurance.

Was wondering how realistic that would be to actually apply...

ZiaMaria Thu 03-Oct-13 19:33:11

The government ran a campaign a while ago to warn teenage girls that they were more likely to be killed as a passenger in a teenagers car than in any other way. Maybe you can find the adverts on the Internet and make sure she has seen them?

skyblue11 Thu 03-Oct-13 19:33:29

I am worried as one friend was taking pics of her friend whilst driving and snapchatting to the others 'look who's driving' but my DD said she wasn't aware she was being photographed.
She can see my point of view but feels embarrassed to decline a lift because of her daft mum!

JGBMum Thu 03-Oct-13 19:33:30

FlapJack - my boys have been driving for 3 years, and for 1 year. Neither has do much as scratched the car. Please don't assume all young (male) drivers will be irresponsible.

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.

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

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

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