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View Full Version : Teenage Drivers and Fast Cars--what do you think?



MNNHFLTX
05-08-2009, 09:25 AM
My son (16, almost 17) and his friends are at an age where many of them are getting their own cars. The other day one of his friends drove him home in his new car--a 2010 Nissan GT-R, which (according to my son, who was told by his friend) has 480 hp, goes from 0-60 in 3.5 seconds and has a base price of $83,000. Obviously his family is well-off (although I had no idea they were that well-off), but my husband and I were a bit shocked that parents would buy a new driver this super high-performance type of car. When we expressed our concerns, my son got a bit defensive for his friend, stating that he's a good student and really level-headed. I don't doubt that, but you can't tell me that he is not going to want to try out all that power on occasion, especially when he's with his friends. We told our son that we didn't think it was wise for him to be a passenger with that particular friend, at least for a while. Of course, this bothered him even more. I guess time will whether this young man will be responsible with this powerful car (although I hate thinking of what the consequences will be if he isn't). But what do you think? Are we wrong to question the judgement of the parents? I mean, why would you buy your kid a super-fast car if you didn't expect your kid to drive it super-fast?:confused::confused:

BTW, my son's timetable to get a car is this summer, when his dad and I will help him buy a safe, reliable used car--with a budget of $5000. :)

Ian
05-08-2009, 09:47 AM
I was a teenage boy with his own car ... it was an aging Datsun with a teeny-weeny 4 cylinder motor and was slow as molasses.

If I had had a car like that Nissan I'd be stone dead, as would likely 2 or 3 of my friends. No question. Teen boys drive like idiots, try to show off for their friends, girls, and anyone else they can show off for. They're inherent risk-takers, they love adrenaline, and they think they're invinceable.

Quite honestly, I think any parent who would buy a car like that for their kid is just asking for tragedy. Might as well buy your kid a pistol.

Not to mention the fact that it's absurd to buy an 18 year old an $80,000+ car even if you can afford it. If you want to buy them a fancy car, get something big, safe, and slow like a Range Rover or an Escalade. Very irresponsible ...

c&d
05-08-2009, 09:58 AM
No question. Teen boys drive like idiots, try to show off for their friends, girls, and anyone else they can show off for. They're inherent risk-takers, they love adrenaline, and they think they're invinceable.

I absolutely agree. It never ceases to amaze me that parents buy these cars and then are shocked when they get in an accident.

I keep telling DS that his first car will be my 92 240 volvo. :D

Carol
05-08-2009, 10:00 AM
I'm totally with you on this one, Beth. Why would a child need that much car?? :nono:

Aren't there laws about teenagers and passengers in Texas?? Here in New York drivers under 21 are limited to ONE nonfamily member under 21.

SBETigg
05-08-2009, 10:08 AM
It's very humbling to be driving my kids to school in my minivan only to be passed in the parking lot by high schoolers driving new BMWs.

Anyway, back on topic, I agree with you that it's very unwise to buy a teenager that kind of car. Of course he'll be out with his friends and want to test it. He may even put it to the test when he's alone. The kids in my town drive like maniacs in the high school parking lot, but they don't even think they're driving like maniacs. They're just trying to get to school. They're lacking the ability to reason some of these things through at that age. I think you're right to be concerned and make some rules.

Carol, our laws are the same, but almost no one actually follows them, or so it seems from my observations.

Tinkerfreak
05-08-2009, 10:09 AM
You are very right to be worried. Do not give in to your son and let him ride with this boy. Your refusal to let him ride in this car could very well be saving his life. Parents always think that "my child would not drive fast like that" or "my child is responsible and gets good grades". Your child may be a staight A student with a squeeky clean image but if you give him a car that fast he is going to show off and drive fast. We all know how young boys (and girls not just point the finger at boys) feel the need to show off in front of their peers and think "that will never happen to me". Does it mean they are bad kids? NO just being kids but this boys parents are just asking for trouble and you are right to keep your son away from that trouble.
I love the new technology they have come out with that allows you to check up on your teens driving, I think it will really make them think twice about speeding and stuff if they know that Mom and Dad are going to know about it.

Itchy
05-08-2009, 10:33 AM
I agree with everyone about high powered fast cars for new drivers.

I have been in law enforcement for 34 yrs and every year we have another crop of 16 yr old drivers to deal with.

I was a teen age boy a long time ago and my first car was 150.00 and a small 6 banger with an automatic tranny. I paid for most of the car and maintained it with my own money or it just did not go. I appreciated the car more and took care of it.

I have owned some fast cars in my younger day but when it come to responsibility you must have ownership in the car or you will just tear it up and expect your parents to make thing right.

As stated before giving a young boy or girl a fast car is like giving them a loaded gun. Sooner or later peer pressure will make them put the peddle to the metal, well you can figure out what happens then.

There should be laws that limit the type of vehicle that a new driver can operate. Just like the graduated drivers license.

Where is common sense?

MidnTPK
05-08-2009, 10:39 AM
My thoughts:

I question the judgment of a parent that would give a teen a car that valuable...no matter how wealthy they are, it just shows that they look at things differently.
I can't imagine what their insurance will be....but that must not really matter to them.
This car is probably a pretty safe car, despite its power. It has luxury level safety features and probably has awesome traction and braking controls, so he might be safer in this than in a Chevy Geo.
It's really more about the kid, then the car....all cars can be dangerously fast if there's an idiot driver behind the wheel. Bad judgment will be bad judgment in any car....and ALL cars nowadays have the ability to overpower an inexperienced driver. They don't put out the underpowered lawnmowers anymore because engines have gotten more efficient...so any car that less than 15 years old has the capability to do speeds a teen shouldn't do.



Might as well buy your kid a pistol.Funny you put it this way...in a 12-24 month period this boy could enlist, be issued an automatic assault rifle, be deployed to Afghanistan, and win the Medal of Honor saving his platoon. Or in the same period he might get drunk and kill some people in this thing. Which is another way of saying the kid is the maybe the most important part of this situation.

Ian
05-08-2009, 10:40 AM
Someone mentioned and I think it's a great suggestion ... they now have GPS-enabled devices you can have installed on your teen's car that monitors their speed and will not allow them to exceed a certain MPH.

In addition, it texts you and lets you know they tried. ;)

Ian
05-08-2009, 10:43 AM
Funny you put it this way...in a 12-24 month period this boy could enlist, be issued an automatic assault rifle, be deployed to Afghanistan, and win the Medal of Honor saving his platoon. Or in teh same period he might get drunk and kill some people in this thing. Which is another way of saying the kid is the maybe the most important part of this situation.Uh ... I think you may be missing a very important distinction between the two situations.

If the kid enlists (which he would do voluntarily, I might add) he'd be given extensive training on how to use said automatic assault rifle. They wouldn't just hand it to him, drop him in the desert and say, "Good luck, kiddo."

Driving training in most states is laughable and prepares you for nothing more than being able to navigate around some orange cones and maybe a supermarket parking lot.
It's totally apples and oranges.

MidnTPK
05-08-2009, 10:56 AM
Driving training in most states is laughable and prepares you for nothing more than being able to navigate around some orange cones and maybe a supermarket parking lot.
It's totally apples and oranges.You might be right...but you might be wrong.....you are just assuming the kid has not received training. Hence the kid needs to be evaluated as much, if not more, than the car.

He could be from a family of gearheads and might be very well trained. Mom needs to find out.

BigRedDad
05-08-2009, 11:01 AM
I think it is inappropriate no matter how well-off you are. I live in Raleigh, NC. We had a level-headed, well to do family let there son drive their RX8. They turned it into an airplane going over an on ramp. They hit the first part of the wall ~500 feet away, skid for over a quarter-mile before hitting the wall, shot over the cement barrier and about 500 feet into the woods. It was estimated that the first impact to the cement barrier was at 140MPH. This was after skidding for almost a quart mile. All four were incinerated. My understanding is the fire was so bad teeth could barely be matched.

Teenagers and fast cars do not go together. Take my opinion for what it is worth, just an opinion. If it were my daughter, that would have been the last time in the vehicle.

DizneyRox
05-08-2009, 12:02 PM
16-17 year olds are genrally not prepared for driving, period. I know I wasn't, and several of my friends who wrapped cars around trees regularly will probably attest. Never mind letting them drive a car like that. Most experienced drivers are incapable of controlling that race car, and that's what it is. It's a street legal race car. It has nothing to do with how level headed, grades, etc. It's driving experience that's lacking and will be lacking for many, many years.

I predict soon they won't be able to insure that kid in that car. And it might not be a matter of money.

EDIT: Fixed a few missing words that changed the meaning considerably.

NotaGeek
05-08-2009, 12:42 PM
Ok, so here's the deal. I am not a thrill seeker and I still managed to rear-end 2 cars by the time I was 21 ... I was driving a really junky Ford Fairmont the first time and a Nissan Stanza the 2nd time ... thank goodness I didn't have some really nice fast car, or it would have been worse than it was.

When I learned to drive I had to take driver's ed and then my dad made me drive his big Chevy manual transmission truck for a LONG time until he thought I could handle driving, and that didn't help at all ... I do drive a mean speed-shift though. :thumbsup:

If I bought my imaginary kid a car it would be a big, slow Volvo station wagon. Period.

DizNee143
05-08-2009, 12:50 PM
If I bought my imaginary kid a car it would be a big, slow Volvo station wagon. Period.

lol..thats exactly what i started out in..
i swear you would floor it and it would sit there for alittle while..finally it would be like..ooh someone steped on the gas..i guess i should go..man that bad boy was s-l-o-w! lol

but ya..new drives and fast cars is just stupid! but sadly most parents dont think "there" kid will do anything bad..
i know(knew) to many people who got into accidents within weeks/months of getting there liecense and thinking they can do and handle anything..

when my kid is ready to drive..and if we actually have the money..i would by them a new car..but it sure wont be a sportscar!

Mickey'sGirl
05-08-2009, 01:07 PM
We had to buy our own cars if we didn't want to enter the "one of four children of equal age lotto" to borrow our parent's beat up Reliant K-Car (the car my dad used to park at the train station each day). If we wanted to drive that beat up Reliant K-Car, we had to pay for our own insurance. Saving the money to do so, sure makes you think about what you are doing behind the wheel. My first car was purchased with my at the time fiance (now my DH of 16 years!) a year before we got married. Glad to report that all of my siblings, my DH's siblings and I, all came out completely unscathed!

Back to the original post -- I would not let my son get into that car either.

MNNHFLTX
05-08-2009, 01:23 PM
I'm totally with you on this one, Beth. Why would a child need that much car?? :nono:

Aren't there laws about teenagers and passengers in Texas?? Here in New York drivers under 21 are limited to ONE nonfamily member under 21.Here in Texas, there is also a limit of one person under 21 in the car, but only for the first year after the license is issued. The hours they can drive are also restricted.

alphamommy
05-08-2009, 01:37 PM
I can't imagine buying a car like that for a teenager. It seems like it's asking for trouble.

When I was around 14 or so, there was a horrible accident nearby where 4-5 teens were killed driving over 100 in a 35 MPH town. The car was left near the spot of the crash, and families (mine included) drove their kids by to show them what could happen to them if they weren't careful. I remember that it looked like a burn metal sculpture - there was nothing about it that resembled a car. The stop sign that they hit in the midst of the crash was in the middle of the back seat area. The image always stayed with me.

We've told DD9 that her first car will be a mid-70s vintage "boat", probably brown or baby blue, with a landau roof - something old, slow, and rather ugly.

MNNHFLTX
05-08-2009, 01:38 PM
You might be right...but you might be wrong.....you are just assuming the kid has not received training. Hence the kid needs to be evaluated as much, if not more, than the car.

He could be from a family of gearheads and might be very well trained. Mom needs to find out.See, to me even training would have nothing to do with the situation. There is no public road where it's acceptable to drive with speeds of up to 153 mph (yes, another stat my son shared with us), so what is the purpose in a kid having a car that can do that? If they want to receive training and take it for a spin around a local speedway, that's their business, I guess. But what good does that do for the day-to-day driving that the car was intended for?

murphy1
05-08-2009, 01:48 PM
When I was in insurance agent I used to tell parents not to buy their kids the hot cars, sometimes I would even quote the rate higher than it really was to discourage them. Too many kids from my hometown died in bad accidents involving these types of cars (Tampa)(look at the bad accident with Nick Hogan and the drag racing). I wonder if these parents just give their kid material things to compensate for other things. You and your husband sound like great parents, your son is lucky. I don't get why anyone would need a car that fast anyway!

BrerGnat
05-08-2009, 01:58 PM
Beth, you're still in charge. Your son is only 16. YOU make the rules, and I TOTALLY agree with you and your husband on this one.

I'd make a pretty firm rule about this:

NO RIDING IN THAT CAR, PERIOD!

And, if you find out he did, make the consequences pretty harsh.

There is just too much at stake here. Those parents of that kid are just idiots. I hope, for their sake, that they realize what a dumb choice they made and they swap that car out for a more appropriate option (although, I know they won't).

There are just too many stories about tragedies of teenage drivers behind the wheels of flashy cars, who want to show off, drive at excessive speeds, and then end up dead, or killing their friends who are riding as passengers. It's so sad, and unnecessary.

Remind your son that you love him, and that is why you are putting your foot down about this.

What is wrong with parents these days??? :mad:

MidnTPK
05-08-2009, 02:02 PM
See, to me even training would have nothing to do with the situation. There is no public road where it's acceptable to drive with speeds of up to 153 mph (yes, another stat my son shared with us), so what is the purpose in a kid having a car that can do that? If they want to receive training and take it for a spin around a local speedway, that's their business, I guess. But what good does that do for the day-to-day driving that the car was intended for?I wasn't talking about going that fast...I was talking about the fact that this kid may be trained in how to handle ANY vehicle safely....so it doesn't matter if he's in a Lamborghini or a golf cart. You should know better than we do whether this kid can be trusted...or find out....or just forbid your child without explanation or research....your choice.

Look, I have two teenage nieces. One I would trust to drive a Lamborghini with my baby girl in it, packed with nitroglycerin. She's way-too responsible for her age and her father is a gear head...and he made her take courses other than the standard driver's ed.

The other niece I wouldn't trust with a pogo-stick...she'd find a way to total the stick and wreck every car near her while she was on it.

All that said, if the family bought this car cuz it was fast and pretty, they probably didn't show this kid how to operate it appropriately, nor train him how to be safe.

Nascfan
05-08-2009, 02:02 PM
In general - almost always a bad idea for a kid to have this kind of car. Speed, or even potential for speed, and younger, generally inexperienced drivers do not mix. I see a very real potential for future tragedy here.

Beth, you are not overreacting in my opinion. Keep your kid out of that car.

DisneyOtaku
05-08-2009, 02:26 PM
Wow....no. Even when I was in high school and saw my classmates getting fancy cars, I wondered what their parents were thinking. Most of the time, they crashed them a few months later then threw a hissy fit until mom and dad gave up and got them a new one. I mean, college was just around the corner! Tuition fees! Books! Ahhh!

I say stick by your rules for the safety of your kid.

RedSoxFan
05-08-2009, 03:21 PM
I would not allow any of my kids in a car like that. It is just asking for trouble. When DS21 was 16 we bought a new '04 Chevy Cavalier in bright yellow with the intention of it being passed down to his two brothers. DS19 has driven it and now DS17 is driving it. No accidents either and it still looks great. People know when the boys are driving because of the color --- another reason we picked yellow.

Jared
05-08-2009, 03:36 PM
Aren't there laws about teenagers and passengers in Texas?? Here in New York drivers under 21 are limited to ONE nonfamily member under 21.
Are you sure? I turned 21 in January, but I have been driving regularly with three or four passengers since my senior year of high school.

I was under the impression New York drivers with their junior licenses may not drive with more than two non-family members under 21. I have had my full senior license since I was 17 (I took driver's ed) and was told there were no more special rules to follow besides the driving laws.

If you're right, Carol, I'm glad I wasn't pulled over all those years!

DizNee143
05-08-2009, 03:51 PM
Are you sure? I turned 21 in January, but I have been driving regularly with three or four passengers since my senior year of high school.

I was under the impression New York drivers with their junior licenses may not drive with more than two non-family members under 21. I have had my full senior license since I was 17 (I took driver's ed) and was told there were no more special rules to follow besides the driving laws.

If you're right, Carol, I'm glad I wasn't pulled over all those years!

thats how it is in jersey (at least im pretty sure)
you have a junior liecense for the first year..your actual liecense is also different..it goes vertical instead of horizontal..its odd..

you might of been one of the lucky ones who didnt have to deal with that..might of just missed the cut off..

Tiggerlovr9000
05-08-2009, 04:04 PM
My son always says we stunted his dating in high school because all he had to drive was a minivan :blush: He just finished his 4th year in college and still has not owned his own car. During the school year he doesn't have a car and drives ours in the summer. He just can not support a car and afford college too. Now my dd who just finished her 2nd year at our local college has totaled both of our cars in the last 3 months. :blush: I don't know what the answer is. Teenagers are always at risk because they think nothing will happen to them and lack of experience.. Just have to pray and take a deep breathe while we see if our kids get to be the lucky ones.

mixelate
05-08-2009, 09:21 PM
I think GPS and other "tracking devices" can be a good idea -- but I think that although kids these days can get into a lot more trouble, sometimes there is too much of a good thing?
I think maybe it runs along the line of "you can't trust anyone anymore". Not that I do not think it is a good idea to know where your kids are, but would YOU like to be spied on all the time? Just a thought.

Georgesgirl1
05-08-2009, 10:06 PM
I think parents who buy their kids cars like this are irresponsible. When my DS gets to the age when his friends start to drive, DH and I will be very selective about who he rides with and where they go. DH has shared with me some of the things he and his friends did when they were teenagers, and frankly it is a miracle that DH is still with us!

He realizes the error of his ways now and says that our kids will be looking at very graphic photos of bad accidents before they begin driving so they will understand the consequences to driving recklessly.

I would say keep you son out of this car!

scoot241
05-08-2009, 10:08 PM
Wow... a GT-R? I can relate, though. A friend of mine's first car was an 80s Corvette. A couple of years later, his dad then bought him a 2002 Trans Am Collectors Edition. When that car got stolen, it was replaced with a Corvette Z06. I'm surprised one or more of those cars hasn't been totaled (or worse) yet.

MNNHFLTX
05-09-2009, 07:53 AM
I think GPS and other "tracking devices" can be a good idea -- but I think that although kids these days can get into a lot more trouble, sometimes there is too much of a good thing?
I think maybe it runs along the line of "you can't trust anyone anymore". Not that I do not think it is a good idea to know where your kids are, but would YOU like to be spied on all the time? Just a thought.
I have had similar reservations about those systems. But after doing some research, we are considering it. Studies have shown that they do cut down on traffic accidents, since teens know that their actions are being monitored and are more cautious.

Ian
05-09-2009, 08:18 AM
I think parents who buy their kids cars like this are irresponsible. When my DS gets to the age when his friends start to drive, DH and I will be very selective about who he rides with and where they go. DH has shared with me some of the things he and his friends did when they were teenagers, and frankly it is a miracle that DH is still with us!Sadly, that's probably true for 80% of guys. I know I, and all my friends from those days, can say the same exact thing.

We drove like IDIOTS!


I have had similar reservations about those systems. But after doing some research, we are considering it. Studies have shown that they do cut down on traffic accidents, since teens know that their actions are being monitored and are more cautious.Bottom line, to me? Keep your kid alive. He'll forgive you when he lives to age 25 and beyond and starts to mature enough that he learns how reckless he used to be.

Maybe the real answer to this (and I know a lot of people might disagree) is that 16 is just too young for people to be handed a 3,000 pound deadly weapon and turned loose with minimal training on an unsuspecting public.

I would absolutely support raising the driving age ... I don't think most 16 year olds are ready for the responsibility.

merlinmagic4
05-09-2009, 08:48 AM
Maybe the real answer to this (and I know a lot of people might disagree) is that 16 is just too young for people to be handed a 3,000 pound deadly weapon and turned loose with minimal training on an unsuspecting public.

I would absolutely support raising the driving age ... I don't think most 16 year olds are ready for the responsibility.

I agree 100%. We've had quite a few bad accidents involving teens here in the last few months. Two were fatal and one had serious injuries. All different scenarios but all tragic. I have always thought the driving age should be raised.

We do have some laws regarding teen drivers. I think they are not allowed to drive with peers for the first 6 months. The speeding fines are also incredibly hefty for a new driver.

Ian
05-09-2009, 08:54 AM
IThe speeding fines are also incredibly hefty for a new driver.Yeah, but to the kid with the $83,000 car is a big fine really that much of a deterrent?

I'm sure Mom & Dad would foot the bill anyway.

DizneyRox
05-09-2009, 08:55 AM
I would absolutely support raising the driving age ... I don't think most 16 year olds are ready for the responsibility.

/signed

I say start at 18, with the same restrictions that are on the 16 year old and work up.

It still boggles my mind that anyone could think that car is a good choice for any driver, let alone a new driver. It's a fair weather car at best, so once you get even the slightest bit of water on the roads, that car turns into a scud missle. The tires don't even get good traction till they heat up, which doesn't happen tooling around town.

WOW! Amazing!

What state is this? I want to keep an eye on the news for what happens to this car...

1DisneyNut
05-09-2009, 09:06 AM
My first car when I turned 16 was a Camaro Z28 and the only reason I did not drive 200mph is because it would only do around 150. I consider myself very lucky to be alive now. As Ian has mentioned teenage boys drive like idiots. I can tell you this though from a first hand perspective being that I was one of the daredevil types, I would have driven any car to the max regardless of its capabilities. With that said, parents should make informed wise decisions on the safety level of any car for teenage drivers. This includes power, antilock brakes, traction control and airbags. Taking these things into consideration and matching them with something affordable could help prevent a tragic accident for your teenage driver. Most new cars have a preset speed limiter programmed into the cars ECM and most are set for 95mph, while still too fast at least its not 150mph. All of these safety features can be circumvented however by anyone who is computer savy as many teenage boys are. As for the gps tracking devices, they can cost anywhere from around $350 up but the zinger is they can be circumvented with a 5 cent piece of aluminum foil found in most any homes kitchen by wrapping it around the gps device's antennae. So keep all of this in mind and know your child's capabilities. Honestly what would have helped me the most would have been for my parents to have taken my car away for several months and give me a long hard speech on driving safely. That probably would have caught my attention more than anything.

DisneyBabies
05-09-2009, 09:38 AM
My mom had a great idea for my sister and I when it came to our first driving experiences. First of all, we couldn't take drvers ed until we were 16 (or a few months before that for my sister, but she still couldn't get her permit until she actually turned 16). Then, we had to have our permit for a year before we could go for our licence. And I am talking about the permit that states you can only drive with a parent, guardian, or an adult approved by your parents (if you got pulled over, you better hope you have the form signed by your parents stating that the passenger is ok). Lastly, we got a used car that had little to no power. My car was a 1985 Ford Tempo :D. It was light blue and was the same shade as the Smurfs (anyone remember them?) so my friends called it The Smurfmobile :laughing:.
I will definately be doing this with my kids when it is time for their licence and car. Does this mean they won't get into trouble? No. But it does mean they will be more prepared when they start going out on their own.

Ian
05-09-2009, 10:11 AM
... parents should make informed wise decisions on the safety level of any car for teenage drivers. This includes power, antilock brakes, traction control and airbags. Taking these things into consideration and matching them with something affordable could help prevent a tragic accident for your teenage driver.You bring up a good point. In some cases, it's actually better to get your new driver a car that has at least some high performance characteristics. It's actually safer to drive 120 mph in a BMW 3 Series, for example, than it is in a Chevy Cobalt.

But I don't think that logic extends quite as far as a Nissan GT-R.


As for the gps tracking devices, they can cost anywhere from around $350 up but the zinger is they can be circumvented with a 5 cent piece of aluminum foil found in most any homes kitchen by wrapping it around the gps device's antennae.I'm not sure about all of them, but most of the devices I've seen come equipped with alarms that alert you if the GPS loses contact with the satellite. Some even go as far as giving the driver a 60 second warning and then shutting down the engine.

1DisneyNut
05-09-2009, 10:43 AM
Oh I agree, the decision to get a teenager a GT-R is completely irrational. I can't imagine what his parents are thinking and until I got a sense of his driving habits there is no way in the world any child of mine would be riding with him. My own parents would not even let my younger brother ride with me for the first two years.
I haven't looked at the gps devices in the last year and I am sure they have advanced in sophistication but now I am going to have to research them some since it has been brought up. I am a little puzzled as to how automatic disabling would be a great idea since it would be relying on constant satellite reception. If I am behind a mountain or on a road with dense tree cover my satellite radio goes out of course and plus they malfunction sometimes. I would be a little worried about putting something that disables a vehicles ignition system if it does not receive a satellite transmission. Tracking and speed reporting is great so you can see their driving habits and make sure they are not somewhere they are not supposed to be but disabling its ignition and leaving them stranded is worrisome for me. I was really just trying to point out that one should be aware of their teenagers capabilities and not rely to heavily on gps devices because it can be circumvented fairly easily by a technologically savy teenager. For instance, I installed my own security system in my car when I was 17 that disabled the ignition and if a thief did manage to work around that I had also set it up where after the car was driven 60 seconds it disabled the electric fuel pump which of course caused the car to die. I made all of these connections in the cars electrical harness myself. When I was a senior I got a new car that had a speed limitation on it and used a resistor to trick the computer into thinking I was driving slower than I actually was so I can tell you now with 100 percent certainty that I could have circumvented any gps system had there been one at the time and it is even easier now with all of the information at your finger tips on the internet.

Pagan
05-09-2009, 10:56 AM
You might be right...but you might be wrong.....you are just assuming the kid has not received training. Hence the kid needs to be evaluated as much, if not more, than the car.

He could be from a family of gearheads and might be very well trained. Mom needs to find out.
Best answer on here.

As someone who's owned fast cars my entire driving life, you're 100% correct. If the kid's been schooled correctly, then it only comes down to a matter of level-headedness.

If he's not a reckless punk and has the training, there's no major cause for concern.

And if he DOES come from a family of gearheads, and loves cars the way I did growing up, the LAST thing he wants to do is wreck his prized possession.

Like you said, Mom needs to find out.

Scar
05-09-2009, 10:59 AM
I don't have a big problem with the type of car. Someone can drive recklessly, and die just as easily going 85 MPH in a Honda Accord, or whatever.

I'm having a problem understanding why, no matter how rich they are, a parent would give their kid an $83,000 car. When he totals it, will they buy him a $93,000 car? Don't parents understand that kids won't learn responsibility if they are spoiled to the point of getting anything they what?

My first car (in '83) was a '70 Ford Maverick that my father bought me (from a friend of his) for $50. A year later, I bought my second car, a '68 Dodge Coronet, for $125.

Pagan
05-09-2009, 11:51 AM
Amen...my first car was a 1972 Chevy Impala with more bondo than metal, that I had to give my Dad $200 for!

BrerGnat
05-09-2009, 05:56 PM
Best answer on here.

As someone who's owned fast cars my entire driving life, you're 100% correct. If the kid's been schooled correctly, then it only comes down to a matter of level-headedness.

If he's not a reckless punk and has the training, there's no major cause for concern.

And if he DOES come from a family of gearheads, and loves cars the way I did growing up, the LAST thing he wants to do is wreck his prized possession.

Like you said, Mom needs to find out.

This kid is probably 17 years old. How much "training" can he have LEGALLY had at this point?

It's not about the ins and outs of how to drive the car. It's about DRIVING EXPERIENCE. It takes TIME and YEARS to earn that experience. A young driver is INEXPERIENCED, no matter how many "special training courses" he or she may have taken or how many laps around the racetrack.

It's about learning to deal with different driving situations. Rain. A driver who runs a red light. An animal who runs in front of your car. A pedestrian, a cyclist, a child. How do you deal when you are going fast and notice an hazard in the road 100 ft ahead? What if your tire blows out? How do you react? What if the car next to you swerves? What then?

This is the type of "driver experience" that ALL new drivers need to rack up.

Giving a new teenage driver a car that is capable of doing what that car is doing just creates temptation for that kid. Sure, he may be a good kid. I was a good kid too. But, I wasn't perfect. I did some stuff in H.S. that my parents would have DIED if they knew about (I bet everyone did). H.S. kids HAVE been known to be idiots...and then when you give those idiots a speed machine, and throw in a couple MORE idiots and a challenge along the lines of "I'll race you from this light to this light." Well, I'm sure you can see where this could end up.

Sure, this could happen in ANY car, which is why it IS a matter of character, BUT I have to question the character of the parents who gave the kid that car. A kid is, after all, first and foremost a reflection of his parents...

Pagan
05-09-2009, 06:27 PM
This kid is probably 17 years old. How much "training" can he have LEGALLY had at this point?
You're assuming. If he is only 17, then not much. However, if he's 19 then he could have upwards of three years under his belt.


It's not about the ins and outs of how to drive the car. It's about DRIVING EXPERIENCE. It takes TIME and YEARS to earn that experience. A young driver is INEXPERIENCED, no matter how many "special training courses" he or she may have taken or how many laps around the racetrack.
It's not? That's news to me. Knowing the ins and outs of your vehicle, AND it's capabilities, goes a long way to helping to avoid dangerous situations.


It's about learning to deal with different driving situations. Rain. A driver who runs a red light. An animal who runs in front of your car. A pedestrian, a cyclist, a child. How do you deal when you are going fast and notice an hazard in the road 100 ft ahead? What if your tire blows out? How do you react? What if the car next to you swerves? What then?
What then? Here's what...70 mph in that car and 70 mph in a Toyota Prius. I'll take my chances with him behind the wheel of the performance car, since its handling and precision is light years ahead of a normal car.

An obstacle in the road is and obstacle in the road, whether you're driving a high performance car or a clunker. Only difference is that the high performance car gives you a better chance of avoiding the problem.


This is the type of "driver experience" that ALL new drivers need to rack up.
See above.


Giving a new teenage driver a car that is capable of doing what that car is doing just creates temptation for that kid. Sure, he may be a good kid. I was a good kid too. But, I wasn't perfect. I did some stuff in H.S. that my parents would have DIED if they knew about (I bet everyone did). H.S. kids HAVE been known to be idiots...and then when you give those idiots a speed machine, and throw in a couple MORE idiots and a challenge along the lines of "I'll race you from this light to this light." Well, I'm sure you can see where this could end up.
Yes I do, but you're judging the kid without even knowing him. I was driving a 1970 Buick Grand Sport 455 when I was 18. But because I LOVE cars, and my own in particular, no matter how many times I was "goaded" I never did anything risky because I loved my car.

If the kid's a jerk, I agree with you 1000%. If he's not, why be so harsh on him or his parents for getting him a car like that if they have the means? Like midnTPK said, he may come from a family of gearheads, and was raised around cars and knowledgable enough about them to handle it.


Sure, this could happen in ANY car, which is why it IS a matter of character, BUT I have to question the character of the parents who gave the kid that car. A kid is, after all, first and foremost a reflection of his parents...
I find alot of character judging on this board. It's sad.

Unless we know these people personally, what gives us the right to judge their character?

mixelate
05-09-2009, 07:24 PM
I do not know if it has been mentioned before ( the thread is getting long!) but I think that in some cases we forget that adult drivers are just as bad as kids - I drive to work on the 401 everytime ( to those outside of ontario/canada its a major major highway :) ) and I see SO many adults driving expensive cars, cutting people off and flying by everyone doing 140 or 150 kms/hr. I think that although teenagers seem to be more prone to doing stupid things, we overlook the possibility of adults doing the exact same thing because we are supposed to "know better".

BrerGnat
05-09-2009, 07:27 PM
I didn't JUDGE the parents of that kid. I QUESTIONED their character. There's a difference. I don't know them. Beth is in a better position to make that call. Clearly, she does not know them very well either, or she does know at least enough that her first reaction was to keep her son OUT of that car...

All I have to say is that when the kid is bragging to his friends that "the car can go 0-60 in 3.5 seconds", well, why would THAT matter? Unless he plans to try that out...

BrerGnat
05-09-2009, 07:30 PM
I do not know if it has been mentioned before ( the thread is getting long!) but I think that in some cases we forget that adult drivers are just as bad as kids - I drive to work on the 401 everytime ( to those outside of ontario/canada its a major major highway :) ) and I see SO many adults driving expensive cars, cutting people off and flying by everyone doing 140 or 150 kms/hr. I think that although teenagers seem to be more prone to doing stupid things, we overlook the possibility of adults doing the exact same thing because we are supposed to "know better".

You make an excellent point. I suppose that is what I was trying to put across in my post. You have to have the experience to deal with all the OTHER morons on the road (and there are a LOT). Teenage drivers (or new adult drivers, whatever) just lack that.

I don't care how good of a performance machine a car is, or what safety features it has...it still has to be operated by a HUMAN behind the wheel, and that HUMAN has to know how to react to his or her surroundings. You can't learn that on a racetrack.

It's like saying it doesn't matter how many years of flying experience a pilot has, since an airplane has autopilot anyway...

mixelate
05-09-2009, 07:34 PM
I would absolutely support raising the driving age ... I don't think most 16 year olds are ready for the responsibility.



This might not be true, but in this day and age aren't most teenagers expected to get a job? For those intown that might not present much of a problem, but for those not... I would feel bad for my mother, who had 3 teenage drivers under 19 at one point, all with different jobs at different times! I believe that teenagers are expected to grow up too much in some instances, and I think bumping up the age limit would create too many problems.

Pagan
05-09-2009, 11:55 PM
All I have to say is that when the kid is bragging to his friends that "the car can go 0-60 in 3.5 seconds", well, why would THAT matter? Unless he plans to try that out...
Not necessarily. My car has 620 horsepower and can probably peel the paint of that car, but I don't DO it on the street.

It's a guy thing I think...just knowing you have it. :D

LittleSpirit02
05-10-2009, 11:29 AM
I think you did the right think telling your son not to ride with him for now. When I first got my license, I wasn't allowed to have friends in the car. I was to go to my various after school classes and back or school and back. I think those first couple months after you get your license is when you really learn how to drive so its important to learn on your own and not have a bunch of friends with you telling you what to do. Sometimes friends may not be trying to influence them to go extremely fast but they will likely say, "Oh it's clear. You should've gone. Just go - it's clear" and it may not really be or they may not have the gap the friend is claiming. I know I've had people do this and I just think - I'll go when I'm comfortable and know its clear. When I'm in the drivers seat - I make the call. I think new drivers need time to drive on their own and make their own judgement.

Also - being a straight A, good student doesn't necessarily mean much in driving. I once rode in the car of a friend's older sister. This sister was a great student and whatnot but man did I want out of that car! She drove like an insane person and I actually remember scooting over to the middle seat in the back fearing she was going to hit something. I never drove with her again and when my mom later saw her driving in the grocery store lot - she never let me drive with her (or other older siblings of friends) either.

Bottom line - you made a good call. The parents shouldn't have gotten him that car and you're smart not to have your son in it.

MNNHFLTX
05-10-2009, 01:02 PM
Just to clarify--the kid just turned 17 and has had his driver's license for about 9 months. And Natalie's right--I don't know him (or his parents) very well. In any case, it wouldn't matter to me if he was my son's best friend, if he was a straight-A student, if he held down a part-time job or any of the other things that add to the maturity level of a teenager (or adult for that matter). My problem is that a car like that goes beyond your run-of-the-mill car in inviting temptation to show off. Believe me, I know it's possible for someone to reach excessive speeds in less powerful cars, but I think teen boys are much less likely to show off their Ford Focus ability to go from 0-60 in 13.6 seconds (as opposed to 3.5 seconds in the GT-R). All of my son's friends are good kids, but any one of them is capable of impulsive behavior (as is my son). I think with time their self-control and decision-making skills improve when they drive. That's why we asked our son to respect our wishes about not being a passenger with this particular friend and that we will re-visit the subject down the road once the friend has had the car for a while. And we've reminded him that his trustworthiness and judgement skills in this situation will go a long way in determining how/when he'll get his own car.

pink
05-10-2009, 01:44 PM
Teen boys drive like idiots, try to show off for their friends, girls, and anyone else they can show off for. They're inherent risk-takers, they love adrenaline, and they think they're invinceable.

I'm 19 right now and my men my age drives like a maniac because they believe they're immortal. However, when I'm in the car I ask them to drive slower and they oblige.

Teens don't need a fast car to get into an accident. I've seen teens with older vechicles who do 360's in parking lots and drive over the speed limit on the highway.

However, males are not the only offenders. I've had female friends who have purposefully been involved in a road rage fight then ended with her car being wrapped around a tree and leaving both girls injured.

Another girl who was driving 70 mph in a 55 mph zone, while texting, drunk and high and ended up cracking her passengers skull open and is now being sued for a cool million from the victim's parents.

Guess what? Her parents bought her a brand new car the next week. :confused:


I was under the impression New York drivers with their junior licenses may not drive with more than two non-family members under 21. I have had my full senior license since I was 17 (I took driver's ed) and was told there were no more special rules to follow besides the driving laws.

People with their junior licenses in New York State must drive with another licensed driver over the age of 21 in the vehicle with them, they can not drive alone. Once you get your full drivers license, you can drive alone. You don't have to be 21 to have a few passengers in your car.


Maybe the real answer to this (and I know a lot of people might disagree) is that 16 is just too young for people to be handed a 3,000 pound deadly weapon and turned loose with minimal training on an unsuspecting public.

I say start at 18, with the same restrictions that are on the 16 year old and work up.

I do believe that 16 is too young to get your drivers license. I didn't get mine until I was almost 18 and looking back, I know as a 16 year old I wasn't responible enough, mentally or financially to handle a car. However, I don't think 18 is a fair age. I was 17 and going to college and working part-time, not to mention my parents both work so how would they expect people to go where they needed to go.


I'm having a problem understanding why, no matter how rich they are, a parent would give their kid an $83,000 car. When he totals it, will they buy him a $93,000 car? Don't parents understand that kids won't learn responsibility if they are spoiled to the point of getting anything they what?

By doing this, they're also not helping their children learn the value of money.



I think that although teenagers seem to be more prone to doing stupid things, we overlook the possibility of adults doing the exact same thing because we are supposed to "know better".

Exactly. As many stupid things as teens do on the road, I see just as many adults AND senior citizens making the same mistakes. I firmly believe that senior citizens create just as many accidents as teens do. What teenagers drivers lack with experience, senior citizens lack the ability to realize a problem on the road and quickly react to the situation.

:mickey:

jrkcr
05-10-2009, 05:35 PM
As a former insanely fast teen driver, as a former firefighter who has seen car accident victims, and now as a mom....I think you are wise to not allow your son to ride with his friend.

Steering wheels are the deadliest thing most of us will ever hold in our hands.
Even the most experienced driver makes mistakes, why increase those odds with a young driver and a fast car?

Marker
05-13-2009, 11:48 AM
No matter how much experience or training a driver has, no matter how technologically advanced a car may be, anticipating the actions of the other drivers around your will always be a dice throw. The faster you're going, the quicker we must make correct responses to the actions of others.

While any driver is capable of behaving incredibly stupid behind the wheel of any car, a "hot rod" adds to the temptation to increase the risk.

My parents never bought my brother or I any car, and I never bought any of my 3 kids a car. They worked, they saved, and when they could afford it they bought their own car. Trust me, they could never afford anything near an $80,000 performance car. If they wanted something fast, they had to buy cheap and build it themselves. And if they did (1 out of 3), there was too much pride in the car to do anything too stupid. They took care of the car because they had an appreciation of what it took them to get it.

Putting an inexperienced driver, regardless of age, in a fast/expensive car is not a wise choice. If we took a poll and asked how many people crashed their first car, at least once, withing the first year or two of driving, I suspect we'd have close to 100%. Does it make sense to put someone in a high dollar machine knowing they're likely to crash, or even destroy it?

While judgement skills, and respect for potential consequences may not be as developed in younger drives, it is not fair to equate that to driving skill or experience. I have seen 17 year old drives who have had their license for a year or less who are much more skillful and safe drivers that older drivers with many years of experiencd. You also can not absolutely assume that a 16 or 17 year old does not have driving experience. There are avenues that allow young folks to legally race cars, or other vehicles, at younger ages. It is totally possible for a 17 year old to be an experienced race car driver (Joey Loganno is only 18 and drives full time in NASCAR's top series). There are a lot of kids racing quarter midgets, a series for kids 5-16 years old.

Marci
05-13-2009, 12:27 PM
Not necessarily. My car has 620 horsepower and can probably peel the paint of that car, but I don't DO it on the street.

It's a guy thing I think...just knowing you have it. :D

He could have gotten those numbers from any car magazine. I know my M3 has 420 HP and can go 0-60 in 4.5 seconds, but that doesn't mean I have driven it that fast. Any person whether guy or girl who is at all in to cars knows what their car can do. It's bragging rights. :)

pink
05-16-2009, 11:29 AM
I have seen 17 year old drives who have had their license for a year or less who are much more skillful and safe drivers that older drivers with many years of experiencd. You also can not absolutely assume that a 16 or 17 year old does not have driving experience.

:D
Thank you!

Shugoondola
05-18-2009, 03:53 PM
But what do you think? Are we wrong to question the judgement of the parents? I mean, why would you buy your kid a super-fast car if you didn't expect your kid to drive it super-fast?



Because some people have more money than brains.

:mickey:

Zawadi
09-05-2011, 08:11 AM
Everybody thinks that they are the best driver in the world.

When behind the steering wheel you are in charge of a 1 to 2 ton killing machine. Giving someone a gun and single round would cause less death.

In the UK, I take pople out on "Advanced Driver Training". This is proactive driving focussing on hazzard perception and driving accordingly (speed, position and gear (in the case of a manual box)).

New drivers do not have the necessary experience in matching speed and position to conditions and hazzards and as a result too many have incidents.

In the UK, we had a TV show called "Road Wars". In one episode a young lad was pulled over for reckless driving to find out that he had just been to his friend's funeral (driving incident). The officer was dumb struck!

MNNHFLTX
09-05-2011, 02:59 PM
Wow, I was amazed to see this thread pop up after more than 2 years! I thought I might give an update. My son's friend (with the GT-R) did not get into any major accidents (that I know of--who knows if he would have told us). I have no idea if he got any tickets or had any minor fender-benders. I have my doubts that he didn't as every single one of my son's close friends from high school did. If all the GT-R kid had was a minor mishap or traffic fine, then I think they got off lucky--or maybe he was as responsible as my son said he was.

A couple of months after I originally posted we did end up buying a 2007 Chevy Cobalt for our son ($4500). It already had a couple of dings and we let him know that if he added to them or got a ticket of any kind that it would be his responsibility to take care of it or live with it. Two years later he has just started his sophomore year in college and though he is a pretty level-headed kid, he still has had two speeding tickets (one on the way to taking his SAT's--yikes!) and last year managed to hit a deer while driving 30 mph in the small city where he goes to school. He also scraped it good going around a corner in the parking garage at his dorm. So yes, I am very glad that we did not get him a faster car and that we did not invest in a more costly car. It's a good solid little vehicle that should get him through the rest of his college years and then he's on his own (he says he want to get a motorcycle--<sigh>)

Interestingly, when I was researching what kind of car we might want to buy for our son, I came across a thread on a board for gear-heads, with a guy from a car distributor clearly talking about delivering the GT-R to my son's friend and how irresponsible he even thought it was. By the details it was obvious that it was the same kid. So even some gear-heads thought it was a foolhardy move.

Janmac
09-05-2011, 08:30 PM
Beth, thanks for the update. While reading about the car, I was thinking of a similar situation in our area where a senior was given a very nice car by his grandparents as a graduation gift. I don't have the stats on the car's speed, etc, but it was sporty. In caps. And the kid was considered level headed, etc. He didn't have the car very long before I heard that he had flipped it, completely totalling it. He was coming home from work and fell asleep at the wheel. He had his seat belt on and walked away, unscathed. I was glad for him and somewhat surprised, but glad, when he didn't get another car as a gift.

Sometimes it's surprising who the speeders are. My very by-the-rules neighbor (68 yrs old) sheepishly confessed the other day that when she was young she used to drive every car she got hold of as fast as the car would go. Lot fewer cars on the road then, they didn't go as fast, and they had real metal on them.

Glad to hear your son is doing well - relatively speaking. Pat yourself on the back - some of it has to be good parenting. :thumbsup:

Jan

joonyer
09-05-2011, 09:57 PM
Simple formula.
You calculate the answer.

Testosterone + lots of horsepower + public roads = ?

SteveL
09-05-2011, 09:58 PM
I don't get why parents hand their teenage kid a car, much less a high preformance car.
Call me the Grinch but I made both sons wait til they were 18, and could afford to pay for insurance, before they got their licenses.

sixshot19
09-05-2011, 11:23 PM
I had to but my own first car.....not to age me too much, but I bought a 1984 Hyundai Pony....ya I was a chick magnet for sure.:secret:

Ian
09-06-2011, 08:20 AM
I don't get why parents hand their teenage kid a car, much less a high preformance car.
Call me the Grinch but I made both sons wait til they were 18, and could afford to pay for insurance, before they got their licenses.Grinch? No. Parent concerned with teaching his kids responsibility? Yes.

BrerGnat
09-06-2011, 09:56 AM
I also don't understand just handing kids cars. I didn't have my first car until my second year of college, when I could afford the payments and insurance! I had been working steadily since I was 15, but I just used my parent's car when I needed/wanted to during my high school years. I plan to do the same for my own kids.

Aurora
09-06-2011, 10:21 AM
My first car (in '83) was a '70 Ford Maverick that my father bought me (from a friend of his) for $50. A year later, I bought my second car, a '68 Dodge Coronet, for $125.

Ooooh, Jeff, my first car was a '72 brown Maverick. I loved that car -- it wasn't a race car but you wouldn't know it from the bad muffler sound. When I finally traded it in (three years later), there was a rust hole under the driver's seat about the size of a grapefruit. That was a different kind of risk-taking! :laughing:

Hammer
09-06-2011, 10:29 AM
Well, I was given a car when I got my license at 17. A 1979 Pontiac LeMans which was my grandfather's! It happened that Abeulo could not drive anymore, so they gave me the car. All the other grandkids were older than me and my sister was in 2nd grade. Dad and I drove the car back from Florida (great memory). Part of the deal was I paid my own insurance.

I hardly think my parents were not responsible parents for giving me that car.

Melanie
09-06-2011, 11:20 AM
Yes, my mom bought me a car when I was 16, but it was mainly out of necessity. My parents were divorced, my older brothers were already out of the house, my mom worked (long hours) and I had a job as well. I had to have a way to and from work.

I drove that '84 Escort until I was 24. Oh the memories.

princessgirls
09-06-2011, 02:28 PM
When we were seniors way way back in 1987 one of our classmates had a fancy fast car. Brand new if I recall. He was "racing" someone one night and ended up having a head on collision, and killed that driver.
Sobering. Life Changing. Awful tragedy that changed a lot of lives.

Teens don't historically make great choices all the time. Yes, most of the time they are GOOD kids...too much car is not always a good call by the parents.
Julie:mickey:

Ian
09-06-2011, 03:25 PM
Yes, most of the time they are GOOD kids...But it's a mistake to assume that 'good' kids always make 'good' choices.

Overall, I was a pretty 'good' kid. That didn't stop me from driving like a complete idiot.

princessgirls
09-06-2011, 06:33 PM
Me either...2 speeding tickets before I was 19 and before NJ Car Insurance was insane!!!

I have the Camaro now, at 42, and believe me...that is plenty of horsepower for me. Too much in fact. People say, oh that would be a great first car for your daughter. NO WAY!!!!!

Julie:mickey:

garymacd
09-07-2011, 09:52 PM
After almost 35 years in emergency services, I have been to too many accidents and seen too many young people killed and seriously injured both in cars and on motorcycles. Too much power and too much speed is almost always the culprit.

Alcohol, drugs and testosterone have also been major factors.

After reading all the posts, I do have to agree that young people are not the only bad drivers. I have also seen my share of experienced drivers in bad situations. In retrospect, I don't know how my father didn't kill all of us on numerous occasions.

SandmanGStefani24
09-11-2011, 11:59 PM
I don't mean to scare you with my answer, but here is my experience. I was 15 and got a car as a gift and partly to help with picking up my little sister (and myself) to and from school activities. My life revolved around wanting to be a race car driver. (strike one) I was 15 (strike two) and the car was a fox body 80s Ford Mustang. (strike three, and I was about to be struck out.)

It ended about 5 months later with me cartwheeling my car a few times and sending myself and a few friends to the hospital.

End result, lesson learned. A boys (or girls most of the time also) first car is going to be wrecked. With luck and some common sense it won't be totalled but it is still likely to be damaged in some way. My advice would be to buy a cheap cash car that looks semi decent and if it survives high school trade it for something better.

Epilogue, I am now an amateur race car driver as my second job. I also teach instructional courses for high school kids just starting out to help make sure what happened to me doesn't happen to them.