Drivers license questions

Avatar for melissamc
Community Leader
Registered: 03-22-2007
Drivers license questions
13
Mon, 04-29-2013 - 4:31pm

My oldest turned 15 today :)  Wow! 

My ds has been talking about getting his permit the past few months but we haven't done any research into what needs to happen for him to get his license when he turns 16.  My dh and I had a short convo last night about it and discussed what restrictions we would place on it.  We both feel that his grades need to be at a certain level, I think that was the most important requirement.  What types of rules or restrictions does your teen have to follow in order to get/keep their driving privileges?  This is unchartered territory for us, so any advice would be much appreciated!

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Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Mon, 04-29-2013 - 5:12pm

We did not put any requirements on it, its been more like a case by case basis.  We have the restriction in Texas that the first 6 months they are on probation and they aren't allowed more than one other person in the unless its a sibling or parent/guardian and they have hour restrictions, until they are 18 they are not allowed to be driving past midnight or before 5 a.m. unless it is for work or for a school event.  Had my oldest not gotten such good grades already, there may have been more discussions about grades. 

General things we did try to ingrain in her was that she should never let the tank get below a quarter tank, if she wasn't driving her car, she needed to replace the gas she used in the tank or give us money to pay for what gas she did use, and (tried) to get her in the habit of checking the oil regularly in her own car, though we haven't quite succeeded in that one yet.

The one thing we did do was make sure she knew she was to text or call us when she was leaving someplace or arriving at someplace that she was driving the first year so we knew she was safe.  Even though we don't require it any longer, she still calls or texts most of the time and if she's ever going to be later than usual coming home from work in the evenings, and she still calls to ask permission to go anywhere that wasn't already discussed or out of the ordinary.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Mon, 04-29-2013 - 8:28pm

I think you're wise to make the grades a contingency, and I also love Arryl's 2nd paragraph about the gas tank. Lots of kids don't pay attention to that at all and it's really important. I ran out of gas in the rain when I was 17, and fortunately, a nice guy stopped to help, but I do NOT want this to happen to my kids because they may not be so lucky.

 

Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Tue, 04-30-2013 - 11:20am

Grades are usually a contingency with people because a higher GPA means lower insurance bills. For us, we wanted DD to do all the leg work to get her permit on her own.... and she has yet to do so at 16. She's half-way through the online permit class but just can't find the time to complete it. I would have signed her up for an in-person permit class if she wanted but again, she's not carved the time out to get there. I'm not sure when she'd even take the actual driving classes (and to be fair, she's a junior and it's all about college research, tests and apps right now.) Driving is not a priority to her and not such a big deal in our area. I'd say half of her friends don't drive until 18 largely due to all the rules placed upon them as provisional drivers. Plus, high school jobs are rare in our area and driving is expensive.

So, for her, I suspect it won't happen until she turns 17 next year and all the college app stuff is done. Again, the only rule we placed was that she had to research how and do the first steps on her own... not happening lol. 

Avatar for melissamc
Community Leader
Registered: 03-22-2007
Tue, 04-30-2013 - 2:54pm

Thanks for all your feedback, I appreciate it!  Our state has all the restrictions on teen drivers as well, which I'm very glad that they are there.  I like the idea of making him do all the research, give him a sense of ownership of the process.   At least we still have some time to work this all out.  I can't imagine that we'll let him get a permit for about 6 months or so, he just needs to mature some more.

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Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Tue, 04-30-2013 - 3:06pm

My 18yo took driving lessons after school plus as many classroom courses as necessary to get restrictions lifted.  Our school offered a half-day course with a drunk driving simulator, and if you took that course and have an after-school job or cocurricular activities, you got priority for the 200 spaces allotted to seniors (there are over 400 seniors), so she took that too.  She took her road test at 17 and passed it the first time.  Honestly she is such a goody-two-shoes that it never occurred to me to put any restrictions on her at all.

My 20yo didn't even attempt to get behind the wheel until he was19.  He's had a learner's permit for two years and failed the road test twice.  Hoping that next month's road test will be "third time's the charm."  As for GPA - we're paying $55,000 a year for him to go to college, his GPA is far more meaningful with respect to THAT than to driving privileges!  If he can pass it this time around, we'll let him take DD's car to college in the fall (she'll be going to college in NYC and won't need it).

I would think however that consistently behaving like a sensible, responsible person is far more important than maintaining a GPA when it comes to driving privileges.  Academic performance and responsible driving are entirely different things.  And seriously if I thought they couldn't be a responsible driver, I wouldn't be letting them behind the wheel in the first place.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Tue, 04-30-2013 - 7:21pm

My daughter will be 18 in June and still doesn't have her license. She has her permit, and has taken the required driving course and completed the road hours, but she flunked her first road test and we just haven't had time to reschedule another one. It would be easier on us if she had her license, but I have to say that since I'm not working anymore, and she's going off to college at the end of August, I don't mind driving her places. Kids in Europe don't drive until they're 18, so I don't see a reason to rush it here.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Tue, 04-30-2013 - 7:27pm

" Academic performance and responsible driving are entirely different things." Yes,they are! DD is a great student, but kind of sucks at driving. She flunked her first test and we haven't yet scheduled a retake.

Statistically, there is an association between good grades and lack of accidents, which is why the insurance companies give discounts for good grades, but not all good students are coordinated drivers. ( I believe the statistical assocation has more to do with poor students being more likely to take driving risks.)  

Like DD, some people just take longer to master the skills and we are more than happy to wait.

Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
Tue, 04-30-2013 - 8:14pm

Illinois has restricted licenses for all drivers under 18, which makes it easy for parents. Even with dd who is turning 19 we have restrictions. She doesn't have a car on campus but has a motorcycle. Sigh.

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-13-1999
Wed, 05-01-2013 - 12:26am

My restriction was the same for both girls:  call when you get to your destination, call when you are leaving that destination and when you reach the next destination until you are home.  I kept this in place for the entire first year of driving and took driving privileges away when either one forgot during the first six months.  I also insisted that the cell phone be locked in the glove compartment when they were driving.   I think hands free talking has been restricted for teen drivers since then but it was permissible when my girls started. 

My youngest says she wants to get her permit when she is eligible this summer but I suspect she won't do anything to make that happen.  I'm in no hurry for her to drive--I wish I didn't have to drive in this crazy, aggressiveness!--so it won't be terribly upsetting to me if she puts it off.

I hadn't thought about the gas tank but that's a really good point.  We have a hybrid car and I was advised that the car will shut down entirely if the gas runs out.  In other words, it's not just a matter of refilling the gas tank.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 05-02-2013 - 11:04am

Where I live, you can't get your permit until 16, then you have to take all these classroom hours, driving with an instructor and wait 6 months to take the driver's test.  My dear son had to take the test 3x before he passed it!  And it's not that he was a bad driver--I think he just got very nervous.  I just never thought about putting restrictions on him because the state puts enough restrictions--can't drive w/ anyone in the car for the 1st 6 months (except with an adult), can't drive after 12:30 pm until 18, can't use a cell phone while driving, etc.  Of course he's an A student anyway so that never came up.  I can't really see tying driving to grades--it's not like not being allowed to drive to the movies is going to make him a better student--it would be not going out so much if you can't manage to do your school work.  Of course at the beginning, I only let him drive very small distances and even now that he's had his license & his own car for almost a year, he still doesn't drive very far or much on the highway.

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