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Old 01-03-06, 12:04 PM   #1
tom cotter
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Father knows best-off topic

At 11:30 last night I asked my 19 year old daughter what her plans for the evening were. She said she was going dollar bowling with her friends. The bowling alley is about 6 miles from our house. I countered that with the pouring rain I thought it would be better for her to stay in. She blasted me with typical teenaged diatribe to which I responded that she would feel pretty stupid if she wrecked her car going dollar bowling. With two and a half years of safe driving under her belt, I left the final decision up to her.MYmistake. 15 minutes after she left the house it was a done deal. Her car was wrecked after she hydroplaned on the local interstate. Thankfully and of paramount importance, she was not seriously injured.

Typical teenage accident: single vehicle loss of control with the vehicle leaving the roadway.

Cause: Lack of judgement. We can teach car control, teaching judgement is a bit more difficult. This will end up being an expensive lesson for her as she will be held fully financially responsible for all costs of the crash.

Of course to me, if the only cost of this incident is the loss of a 2003 Honda Civic, I'll view that as a free pass when compared to what the outcome could have been. Combined with the massive move up the learning curve it acheives for my daughter and we got off cheap.

I thought that the over 50 forum would be the best possible forum to place this post. Moms and dads, don't be afraid to say "not tonite" when your young driver wants to go out when you know better. I wish I had.

After spending all morning in the ER no bike riding today. The weather is still crap anyway.
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Old 01-03-06, 01:05 PM   #2
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Interesting, yesterday's local news was about a 16 year old who drove off the freeway offramp then turned left onto another street only to skid on wet pavement into a chain link fence. The fence broke and she ended up in the flood channel and drowned. She was alone in the car, after dropping off her friends to go home.
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Old 01-03-06, 01:15 PM   #3
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These stories give me so much pause, because my own 17 year old daughter just got her license last month. While she's a careful driver, she certainly hasn't had much experience, particularly in tough conditions. Tom, my heart goes out to you. Scary stuff! Thanks for the post and the reminder. I'm going to have her read the post.
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Old 01-03-06, 01:58 PM   #4
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It's too bad she took the freeway - six miles isn't that far to drive on city streets. Glad she wasn't hurt. Still, I don't know that blocking her from going would have been the right answer except in retrospect...it's a bit of a fluke that what you feared actually came to pass.
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Old 01-03-06, 03:58 PM   #5
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Young drivers lack two essential ingredients of good driving: judgment and experience. Unfortunately, both come only with time. There's no short cut and you can't "give" your child either. They either develop these on their own or they don't.
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Old 01-03-06, 04:18 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by FarHorizon
Young drivers lack two essential ingredients of good driving: judgment and experience. Unfortunately, both come only with time. There's no short cut and you can't "give" your child either. They either develop these on their own or they don't.
Which presumeably means getting some practice driving in less than ideal conditions.
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Old 01-03-06, 07:09 PM   #7
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First, very glad your daughter wasn't seriously hurt. I feel very fortunate: my 19 and 20 year old son and daughter have never been in an auto accident. But I understand why teen to early 20's insurance rates are so high. A majority of their friends have been in major damage driving accidents. Biggest cause: inattention or risky driving behavior.

Ah, Grasshopper, the goal of life is wisdom to make good choices.
But, Master, how do I learn to make good choices?
Why, Grasshopper, by making bad choices.


But it sure is hard to let them out in the world to risk those bad choices.

Fatherhood.
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Old 01-03-06, 07:20 PM   #8
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My experience is that all of my son's friends seem to need some sort of accident - my son had one, and though it wasn't his "fault" it could have been avoided with just a bit more defensive driving.

I am so glad your daughter is OK.

We have had a terrible plentitude of dead teen agers around here lately. 4 killed from our local high school, 2 killed last week from a nearby high school, a couple of more killed from one near us.

And what I can't figure out is, even though we had cars and I got my license at 16, I attended a LARGE high school (3,000 students) - never even an accident that I heard about, and absolutely no one killed. What is the difference?
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Old 01-03-06, 07:40 PM   #9
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And what I can't figure out is, even though we had cars and I got my license at 16, I attended a LARGE high school (3,000 students) - never even an accident that I heard about, and absolutely no one killed. What is the difference?
Luck.

I went to a small high school with 93 kids in my graduating class. Before I had turned twenty, 7 were dead from accidents. Not all were traffic accidents, for example one kid drown when he hit his head on the bottom of the pool. But one hit and run, one drunk driver hitting my friend head on, and so on, and so forth. At that time in my life, I didn't know ANY older people who had died. Just friend after friend, classmate after classmate.

Oh -- and not one of these people died because of their own poor driving habits.
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Old 01-03-06, 08:12 PM   #10
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I'm happy to hear that your daughter is OK. That is always the best news to hear. Our middle daughter went into a ditch driving home on icy roads for Christmas break one year.
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Old 01-03-06, 10:13 PM   #11
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Unfortunately another lesson that parallels this one....put your new drivers in a car that has adequate safety features and don't be surprised if and when it gets dinged up. An older Mercedes was my kids starter car and boy did it take a pounding!!

Glad your daughter is okay. I'm on driver #3 (15 yr+) and really dread those phone calls when they are out......
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Old 01-04-06, 09:02 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrannyGear

Ah, Grasshopper, the goal of life is wisdom to make good choices.
But, Master, how do I learn to make good choices?
Why, Grasshopper, by making bad choices.


But it sure is hard to let them out in the world to risk those bad choices.

Fatherhood.
That hits the nail on the head.
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