I have never been able to understand why the state of Connecticut would entrust a 2500 lb. death trap to a 16-year old!
I come from New Jersey. You were allowed to get your driving permit when you turned 17. By the time you took Driver’s Ed and took all your tests for you license, you were almost 18 years old. When I moved here to go to college, I couldn’t believe they let these babies drive cars and trucks! So of course, when my daughters turned 15 ½ they were already on me about getting a driver’s permit.
Now when I was a kid in the Middle Ages, we were able to take Driver’s Ed in High School and it was FREE! Ninth period we would get together for theory and then we were assigned specific days for the actual driving in the car stuff. We had a car that was the size of a large boat (a Ford Galaxy or some other monstrous vehicle) that would hold six of us and the teach would take us out in the parking lot of the school and we would have to practice getting out of skids in snow and ice, parallel parking, etc., all within the safety of that space. When the teach felt we were capable enough, we were brought out onto a REAL road! I remember the first time doing this and I swear I sweat five pounds off that afternoon
Anyway, when my kids came to the ripe old age of 16 it was off to find a driving school. I couldn’t believe that now I would have to PAY some stupid company who had a corner on the market in my town. (It seems that these people are so smart that they don’t step on each other’s territory!) I also remember that there was theory and roadwork but no real emergency training like I had. That made me a little nervous.
So it went. And they wanted my husband and I to practice with them!
Now you have to know that my husband is a real back seat driver to begin with and when he would take the girls out he really had a tendency to be over critical so after a while this task fell on my shoulders! Oh great! I’m a nervous wreck to begin with on any given day without one of my teenage daughters driving, but somehow it seemed to work better we me sitting in the suicide seat. One by one they got their permits.
And the day they passed their written and driving test was the scariest day of my life! (Mind you… the first one passed no problem, the second one flunked the written test, the third one passed no problem and the last one passed everything until the last second and then rolled through a red light!) Sometimes you have to deal with disappointment I guess.
But I have to tell you that when you son or daughter is allowed by law to take your car or truck out for a “spin” all by their lonesome (because that’s the way it was in those days) and you stand there watching the tail lights go down the street and turn the corner out of sight without you in the suicide seat, your heart is in your throat. And if you didn’t believe in a god before this you will be praying to one now. This was one of the toughest parts of raising my children. It still is… they way people drive these days.
We’ve had our share of fender benders. We’ve even had one of my youngest daughter’s cars totaled! Thank God no one was ever hurt, but there were plenty of times when I was on my knees begging the person in the other car that they sometimes hit to “Please don’t call the cops or the insurance company” and I will pay whatever it takes to fix your car! With three teenage drivers on my insurance I would have had to mortgage my house to pay the premiums.
So in this instance I will tell all of my daughters…
I don’t wish the Motherhood Curse on you in this one area.
I wish you all have teens who are responsible and safe drivers because I love you all.