Here We Go Again…


My sixteen year old daughter got her driver’s license last month, *sigh*. I wish I could enjoy this big step, but I cringe at the thought of it. I was the same when my son started to drive. My trepidation isn’t just about the dangers of driving. It’s about having to set new limits. It’s arguing about who gets use of the car. It’s about trusting that her friends, who are also getting their licenses, will be good drivers. It’s about the new level of freedom she is gaining.

Living in New Hampshire doesn’t help. New Hampshire seems to be one of the least strict states when it comes to driving. At the tender age of fifteen and a half, kids can start driving… No permit required. No classes. No tests. Just the teen with a birth certificate and an adult. Then, once he/she is sixteen and has completed Driver’s Education and forty hours of driving time with an adult, he/she takes a written test and a ten minute (no exaggeration) driving test. The teen passes and gets a license. Said teen is then legally allowed to drive herself and her BFF around town.

However, we do not allow her to drive anyone other than us until she has had her license for at least six months. The same goes for allowing one of her friends to drive her anywhere. These are some of our limits. And, as you can imagine, they cause annoyance and inconvenience for everyone. It does seem silly to have three girls driving separately to the same place. Some of her friends parents follow the same guidelines and some do not. My father, who worked in insurance for most of his life, advised me of the devastating statistics regarding accidents involving new drivers in the first six months of having their license. An added passenger is an added distraction. And if something awful were to happen, that is two lives harmed rather than one. And I certainly wouldn’t want to have any teen feel the tragic responsibility of causing a friend injury… or worse.

I’ve had one or two people tease me about our new driver rules. All I can say is that some states actually prohibit passengers, other than family, for the driver’s first year of having a license. And some states have raised the age of being eligible for a license above sixteen.

So, what do you think of our rule? Silly or sensible?

Thank you for reading!

Until next time,

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10 Responses to “Here We Go Again…”

  1. Tana Bevan says:

    My daughter grew up knowing I wasn’t letting her get her driver’s license before 18.
    Tana Bevan recently posted..Want a Happy, Healthy, Child? 13 Steps to Getting There. (Part 3 of 3)My Profile

    • suerae says:

      Good for you, Tana! I didn’t want to wait until they are 18 because they would be off at college at that point and I’d prefer for them to get the driving experience while at home. Especially since many of the colleges don’t allow cars on campus for Freshman, so I worried they would forget how to drive shortly after they just learned.

  2. Oh wow . . . I can’t believe NH has such lax standards for young drivers. I agree with you 100% about setting rules about who she drives with, etc. Yikes.
    Sherrie Koretke recently posted..Why We Need to Define Success by Our Own ValuesMy Profile

    • suerae says:

      Oh Sherrie, NH has a lot of lax standards. No helmets required for motorcyclists, gun shooting ranges in residential back yards, etc. It is called the “Live Free or Die” state for good reason! Yikes is right!

  3. Virginia adopted similar rules about 6 years ago. After one of my friend’s daughter (and 6 others) were traveling to a school athletic event. Without paying full attention- and now there are only 4 of the 7 around. Hence, the drive for the new rules (pun intended)…
    Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A. recently posted..It’s not the test. It’s how we get there.My Profile

    • suerae says:

      Such a tragic story, Roy. It’s always a shame when it takes a tragedy to make changes that should’ve been made to prevent such a story.

  4. Muriel says:

    16 is far too young to drive as far as I am concerned. In Europe, it is 18 and I have to say that I find it quite young too. Driving is incredibly dangerous -one mistake, and you can kill someone, or be killed. In short, I totally understand your rules. I will be worried sick when my teenage daughter starts to drive. It is all about slowly gaining experience. Good luck!

    • suerae says:

      I agree with you, Muriel. It is a stressful time. I always made my kids text me when they arrived safely to their destination. Unfortunately, they don’t always remember to do so, which make me insane with worry!

  5. Janine says:

    I totally agree with your tactics! I think back to myself when I got my licence, I so wasn’t ready to drive with anyone else in the car! It was bad enough with my parents in the car with me!
    Janine recently posted..11 Reasons Why It’s Time to Ditch that Sucky JobMy Profile

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