Would you let a 12 year old drive your car?

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  1. landscapeartist profile image60
    landscapeartistposted 11 years ago

    My 12 year old recently went on a camping trip with some of his dads friends.  While on this 'camping' trip the following happened.  The old ladys grand-daughter was 'upset' so the woman gave her car keys to my son and told him to take her grand-daughter for a drive. He said it was only up and down the 'long' driveway, but I know my son.  The story doesn't sound right.  He is the kind that will drive on the road once he is out of everyones sight. 

    No one sees the error in this judgment call.  She had no business letting him do that, but, they say I am being irrational.  Am I?

    1. AEvans profile image75
      AEvansposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Uh and No! A 12-year old is not legally of age to drive and its illegal.

      1. Trish_M profile image77
        Trish_Mposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I agree with you.
        You are not being irrational.
        Anything could have happened ~ and you were not even consulted.
        Dangerous, irresponsible and downright stupid.

      2. Cobrafan profile image80
        Cobrafanposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        In that situation, no. But if I had a son and I was with him on a back road that never had any traffic or on my own property, I would probably let him drive a little. Not that I would ever let him get over 15-20mph or go on any roads that had any traffic whatsoever.

      3. profile image56
        poodles55posted 11 years agoin reply to this

        No, He is only twelve!!

      4. Nicole Margulis profile image54
        Nicole Margulisposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        you're not being irrational. It is illegal to drive at 12.

      5. profile image61
        Sophia Decruseposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

        I completely understand your concern, Roberta McIlroy. Allowing a 12-year-old to drive, even on a driveway, is risky. Your worries are entirely justified, and your child's safety should always come first. Even so, I also came to know of a similar incident a few months ago in Swansea, UK. An underage driver was allowed to drive a car on private property, and it resulted in a minor accident. That boy got injured, and his parents also got into trouble. However, once he reached the legal driving age and obtained the required documents and his new driver's insurance, he learned from his mistake and became a responsible driver, ensuring such accidents never occurred again.

    2. Rochelle Frank profile image91
      Rochelle Frankposted 11 years ago

      Not irrational.. illegal. She was wrong and probably could have been  arrested.

      1. landscapeartist profile image60
        landscapeartistposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I am wondering now what else she has allowed my son to do when he is around them.  My ex lets my son go visit them alot.  I don't think that was the first time she gave him the keys to drive.  She is irresponsible and stupid.

    3. profile image0
      screamingposted 11 years ago

      I agree with you, irrational to put it mildly! Had the kids been involved in an accident, would it have still been ok? Some people just don't think! They think it can only happen to the other guy!

      1. landscapeartist profile image60
        landscapeartistposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I am going to see what steps I can take to ensure that she doesn't have my son for any length of time anymore.  Its one thing if his dad or I want to take him out to teach him how to drive.  I make sure he is in a safe environment like our fields, and I am with him in the car...but for a perfect stranger to do that wouldn't happen.  To boot, there was no adult supervision at all.  She can't honestly say she was careful.  If she did say that she would be lying.

    4. TheMagician profile image88
      TheMagicianposted 11 years ago

      My mother taught me to drive around age 9 or 10, but that was my mother. For her to hand your 12 year old son the keys without even letting you know is definitely her wrong doing!

    5. profile image0
      LikaMarieposted 11 years ago

      Um, a 12 year old?  I-don't-think-so!  I would NEVER let my 12 year old anywhere NEAR the steering wheel.  Thing is, it's not like this one learned, and she wasn't in the car with him.  Had your son been caught, there could have been arrests made.

      Now, if there was an emergency, and he took an elderly lady to the ER, then, fine, he's a hero.  But to go on a mock date?  That's highly irresponsible on her part.

      So no.  You're NOT over reacting.

      1. landscapeartist profile image60
        landscapeartistposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        My ex and I taught our son to drive so that if an emergency came about he would be able to drive the vehicle.  This was definitely not an emergency.  Her and I are going to have a serious discussion and she isn't going to like what I have to say and do.

        1. profile image0
          LikaMarieposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          I'm agreeing with you 100%.

    6. carlarmes profile image69
      carlarmesposted 11 years ago

      Great fun for the son, I did the same when I was young, we would borrow the keys and drive around the block in my mums old banger, problem reaching the pedals though and it did not do the gears any good.

      You have to stamp your authority, everyone has to know that it is not funny, even if it is.

      1. landscapeartist profile image60
        landscapeartistposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Oh, definitely.  He loved the freedom he had been given.  But, he needs to learn responsibility which we are having a rough time with right now.  This contradicts everything I have trying to accomplish here.   Now, I think I may be back to square one.

    7. profile image0
      mjkearnposted 11 years ago

      Hi Landscapeartist,
      I'm not a parent so I hope I'm not butting in here and if anyone thinks I'm off the mark feel free to say so, as I'm thick skinned and happily accept that I know nothing about parenting.
      What I do know about are cars, motorcycles, boats, machines etc and I'm a very qualified mechanic in several fields with an amateur motorsports history.
      I live in a very rural part of Ireland where we tend to know most people in a 10 mile radius. Nearly all my neighbours are farmers and their children have been driving quad bikes, cars and tractors from about 10 years old mainly on private land.
      I've been driving and motorcycling since about 14 and the passion has never left me. For a long time I was the type that if you told me no, I'd want yes more often than not.
      I understand the comment about an emergency and hero, but while a 12 year old may be able to operate a car, surely they can have little or no knowledge of the rules of the road or other drivers or road conditions. I don't know perhaps this is OK in the states.
      I think the person who gave the keys can't have a proper grasp on reality. Here that would be child endangerment, without question and if repeated the vehicle would be removed.
      The main point I wanted to make, which is why I began by saying I'm not a parent but I have been the unruly child, is you may not be able to stop the desire to drive so you may be better trying to steer it. Road safety shows, crash test videos or other will show the public road is for safe sensible driving and anything else is for off road or motorsport. Just a thought and I don't mean to tread on any toes,

      1. landscapeartist profile image60
        landscapeartistposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        thank you for your comment.  I understand what you are getting at fully regarding the safety shows and such.  that is one of the reasons we decided to start showing him how to drive now.  teach him slowly all the while pointing out what to do and what not to do.  i watch how he is with other peoples things and i am forever telling him that how he is with them does come out in his driving technique.  you have to learn respect for others first.  it helps you to become a better person and a person that respects rules. 
        i bought a video that will certainly help him with this but he refuses to watch it at all.  his dad and i stopped taking him out for driving lessons until he proves to us he is capable of respect for others and the responsiblity he should be capable of .  at least that is what his dad said.  maybe i am the only one here trying to teach him anything.

    8. Polly C profile image91
      Polly Cposted 11 years ago

      I have a 12 year old son and there would be no chance of him driving my car! Aside from being illegal, I can't think of anything worse - it's bad enough seeing him on the road on a bike to be honest. Yesterday, when he was in the passenger seat with me driving, he said, "Mum, you turn quickly to the left and I'll put the hand brake on.' This didn't happen, obviously, but is a guide to his immaturity.

      Even on private land (which to my knowledge is not illegal) I'm not sure I would want him driving my car right now. He is very impulsive and not very sensible just yet.

      1. landscapeartist profile image60
        landscapeartistposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        where i live the kids are known for sneaking around taking people cars out of their driveway and returnin them before anyone wakes up.  i lock my car and keep my keys up in my room.  my daughter was taught by her friends on such occasions, so we figured we would show jamie ourselves how to drive.  that way he is taught right.  jamie doesnt get the chance to sneak out cuz i am a light sleeper...and the floor creaks.
        people out here in the country are too trusting and a lot still leave their keys in the car and house unlocked.

        1. landscapeartist profile image60
          landscapeartistposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          jamies temper flares alot at school and he is also impulsive too.

    9. Polly C profile image91
      Polly Cposted 11 years ago

      "where i live the kids are known for sneaking around taking people cars out of their driveway and returnin them before anyone wakes up." - that sort of thing doesn't happen round here so I would never have to worry about it. They would never get away with it, the area is too built up. I see you are in Canada and I know how quiet some parts of it are, especially compared to England, I used to work for a Canadian specialist tour operator and they taught us that the whole of England can fit into the biggest lakes.

      I still wouldn't want him driving though!

      1. landscapeartist profile image60
        landscapeartistposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        it was my ex who came up with the grand idea of teaching him how to drive so young.  at the time it made sense, and it still does now but .... now, i have to deal with the constant nagging and asking when we will take him out again. 
        We live in a little cluster of 3 houses and from there, the next neighbor is about 5 miles away.  It's all back roads and they are definitely not straight stretches.   He keeps wearing a track in the grass on our property, and I don't want that.  I love my yard without tire treads and ruts.

    10. profile image58
      MotorCityRefugeeposted 11 years ago

      Like many things these days, the mere notion of doing something like this can certainly raise the collective eye brow, but pardon me for not being overly concerned. Being, as I am, a product of Dr. Spock meets the Detroit Public School System in the 1950's and 60's, you would think there would be nothing especially troublesome to me about sending a twelve year old down the road in your car.  After all, people my age have some stories to tell about how they learned to drive that make this one sound like the cleaned up version agreed upon before the police arrived.

      Everything is truly "relative". Grandma is reacting to her surroundings based on default mode. Case in point, after spending most of our formative years standing up on the front seat of a car rolling down a road replete with drivers who had just had "one for the road" and doing their best Foster Brooks imitation, the scenario your describe seems innocuous at worse, comically  relieving at best.  I learned to drive on a 37 Farmall tractor with a 7' wide dozer blade on the front.  My fine motor skills were honed plowing snow in between cars in the parking lot of my father's workplace.  Hardly an approved setting, but in those days no one seemed alarmed, in fact, I remembered getting tips and treats from drivers who appreciated not having to shovel their car out of a snow drift.  Not one word was said save for comments like, "...you're big for only ten years old, come see me when you need a job".  Simply put Grandma is not irresponsible. I am certain that she has helped her family through some pretty complicated issues with judgement and foresight.  What has changed is her environment and her exposure level, not her reasoning ability.  It isn't all that long ago that there wasn't even such a thing as the bus we throw people under.  Grandma can remember well when cars had no such thing as a seat belt, and dash ornaments were for style and functionality.  Only later did we learn their effect on the human forehead.

      Yes, this is a different world and it is fraught with new danger.  But cut Grandma some slack.  If that is the worse thing that happened that day, we were all blessed and you know it.  At the time, I didn't have any concept that driving myself to school from age 12 through graduation was inherently dangerous.  I could care less that it was illegal or that car insurance was optional in those days.  I was eager to learn and my dad was usually too drunk by that time of day so me taking the wheel was in self-defense.  I don't know how he went all those years without ever hurting anyone, but I can't remember even worrying about him getting home.

      The best thing that can come of this is we communicate more and somehow age and wisdom will combine with modern awareness and the kid will end up being better off for it and not crippled with inabilities that so many young people suffer today. Balance and well rounded training comes from learning from our elders and taking measured risks.

      1. landscapeartist profile image60
        landscapeartistposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I understand where you are coming from.  Really I do, but the fact is that 'Grandma' here is only recently met.  We didn't know her from Adam before 4 months ago. Or rather, they met her 4 months ago.  I still haven't met her.  Maybe her judgement is commendable but I don't know that and I am not prepared to allow her judgement to be relied on where 'MY' son is concerned.

      2. landscapeartist profile image60
        landscapeartistposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Todays world isn't so different.  Apparently, my girls also drove without adult supervision when they were younger.  I was the only one who didn't know this.   Their way of thinking is much the same as yours is.

    11. ocbill profile image53
      ocbillposted 11 years ago

      the adult who gave him the keys should be arrested and fined. They are endangering the lives of legal drivers on the road.
      People nowadays seem to always want to push the laws "that worked" into their favor.  Why not give him a drink too if you think this is OK too?, have a kid at age 14? It is simply irresponsible. The "kid" is not even a teen yet for christ's sake.

      1. landscapeartist profile image60
        landscapeartistposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I agree.  I don't see anything wrong with teaching your own kid to drive, most kids learn on the family property, in the fields and such, but I do see a problem with outsiders overstepping the boundaries and deciding what they presume is safe for our children.  What 'she' saw as safe isn't what I see as safe. 
        I tell everyone ... Call me 'strict', call me 'overbearing', call me whatever you want...but, no one can accuse me of not protecting my child.  I am teaching him safety above all else.  Safety for himself and for others...Responsibility comes with that knowledge.  He's not responsible enough yet!

    12. SoManyPaths profile image60
      SoManyPathsposted 11 years ago

      I agree. If on your own property or in a large unoccupied (vacant) lot it "may" be OK if you just have to disobey the laws the overwhelming majority of your neighbors and stated voted to have. I understand most people in the urban areas did have some practice in lots like I described but a parent is overstepping their authority in this situation.

    13. love my yorkies profile image61
      love my yorkiesposted 11 years ago

      I was driving when I was 12, but that was just around my grandparent's farm.  I had to help haul hay, feed the cows and things like that.  Wasn't allowed on a real road till I took drivers ed.

    14. 2uesday profile image67
      2uesdayposted 11 years ago

      Looking at it this from another way - what sort of grandmother treats her grand-daughter like this?

    15. renee21 profile image81
      renee21posted 4 years ago

      I would say no, you're not being irrational.  I would never let a 12 year old drive a car.  They are not responsible enough at that age to drive anywhere.

    16. Lilly Patalilly profile image61
      Lilly Patalillyposted 3 years ago

      No way!

    17. profile image38
      alanjakewashingtonposted 3 years ago

      12 year old very young to do so... so better keep away from such things

    18. Kathryn L Hill profile image78
      Kathryn L Hillposted 3 years ago

      The grandmother was way out of line and should have been spoken to harshly.

      And never have anything more to do with her.


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