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Teaching kids to drive

Discussion in 'Chit-Chat' started by MDarius, Aug 15, 2006.

  1. MDarius

    MDarius I break stuff. SILVER Star

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    So, I started an unrelated thread in the 80 section and it got all kinds of opinions about when to teach kids, what to teach kids, how to teach kids, and what they should be taught in, as well as what they should drive. I want to hear opinions.

    I believe kids should start early...as soon as they can reach the pedals...in a controlled environment on a safe road in a vehicle they can handle. Then, when they are driving on their own they should have a vehicle big enough to be safe but not big enough to be the neighborhood bus. OOOh the parties we had in my car as a teenager! Who knew you could drive with 32 people crammed into a '64 Olds! Fun, but I never want my kids doing that! I also hit a top speed of 140 mph on the freeway...my top speed, not the cars...I also don't want them doing THAT. Only 5 people in the car that time.

    What is reasonably safe? Is an 80 series cruiser a good choice for a teenager? Minivan? Corolla? Motorcycle? Old beater?

    So,
    When should they start:
    What should they start with:
    What should they drive as teenagers:
    Safety features: (airbags-good or bad?, antilock brakes-good or bad?, etc.)
    Other comments:

    I'm starting my kids at 8-10 years old on dirt roads at 2 mph in my '95 LC. I'd rather start them in something else smaller, but I don't have something smaller. The first car I ever drove was a CAT front end loader at the age of 14 in a cement yard. I don't know that they will get that opportunity. I think the 80 is a great vehicle for them to drive as teenagers. Not too much power, not too tippy, affordable (reasonably).
     
  2. Gumby

    Gumby Supamod Staff Member s-Moderator

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    My son learned throttle control and steering inputs in a Honda Oddysey at 7 or 8.

    I worry my daughter has never had those lessons. She's never even driven a lawn tractor.

    I will take her off road. Nothing is better for learning than poor traction driving. Especially for a motorcycle. It does not teach them how to watch out for the moron in the lane next to you though. Lots of time driving on the learner's permit for that.

    A large vehicle will always win in a two car accident, but will not do as well as a small modern unibody in a hit with an immovable object. 6 of one, half dozen of the other. Generally, the newer the better for safety. Air bags and ABS are neccesary, not just a good idea.

    Slow is good.

    My son is doing OK with a FJ60. He is learning about dealing with poor fuel mileage and a finiky vehicle. IL has a one passenger law for the first 6 mo. He's gotten a ticket for violating it once already and I have little doubt he ignores it at every opportunity. I think he has also found a good use for the fold down back area. :bounce: :bounce:

    It should also be mentioned that he crashed my 80 and rolled my 55. ;)
     
  3. bull

    bull

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    My daughter at age 9 knows how to shift a 4 speed while I drive. She is at the point where she shifts on the sound of the engine now.


    I have put her in the 80 in LOW and let her drive around a meadow where she couldn't hurt anything..She has done well
     
  4. MDarius

    MDarius I break stuff. SILVER Star

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    The last thing I want is them finding a use for that back fold flat area!!!! On the other hand, I had a friend in high school that bragged about the front seat of her VW bug on the freeway, so I guess if you want it, anywhere will do.

    Let's not turn this into a brag about experiences thread though!

    I wish I had a standard for them to learn in. You get spoiled learning in an automatic.
     
  5. Gumby

    Gumby Supamod Staff Member s-Moderator

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    I taught my son how to drive a stick in my 40. Not for him in a dd though. He needs all his attention on the road. He has enough distractions.
     
  6. dblugly

    dblugly

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    I taught my daughter to drive in a 64 vw ghia, it had a very forgiving clutch, and a 1200 cc motor. I took her to the county fairgrounds parking lot and practiced the slow maneuvers, parking between the lines, stopping in the right spot, Etc.. No room in the back seat, I hope:rolleyes: . Her boyfriend seem's like a nice kid, sure hope I don't have to kill him some day:doh:
     
  7. my64fj40

    my64fj40

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    How long did it take him to get the stick down??
     
  8. Gumby

    Gumby Supamod Staff Member s-Moderator

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    Not too long in the 40. It's tough to stall. :D

    Maybe a half an hour in the parking lot. We didn't go out on the road. He just wasn't comfortable with no power steering and a high tippy vehicle and needing to clutch and shift. He got the concept and could drive a stick in an emergency. Once he's had some time on the road we'll go back and spend some time.

    i can't abide people who are 30 years old and can't drive a manual.
     
  9. LandCruiserPhil

    LandCruiserPhil Peter Pan Syndrome Supporting Vendor

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    When should they start:
    I agree with others, once they can reach the pedals comfortably

    What should they start with:
    I started my oldest in a full size 4sp utility truck with no rear view mirror. At first all she was allowed to do was back up in a parking lot. None of our vehicles have rear view mirrors and are worthless IMO. When they start to drive enroll them in a class like Bob Bondurant school of hi performance driving, not the hi performance class. It covers braking control, weight transfer, controling a skid, how to best avoid an accident. Most adults should take this class its a real eye opening experience.

    What should they drive as teenagers:
    The safest vehicle you can afford. Our 100 series will be my youngest daughters car when the time comes.

    Safety features: (airbags-good or bad?, antilock brakes-good or bad?, etc.)
    Bottom line, air bags saves lives.

    Other comments: No passengers for the first six months, no radio, no cell phone, in before dark, and no rear view mirror. Driving is a privilege and the leading cause of death for teens in this country. Dont like the rules move out and buy your own junk.
     
  10. baxter650

    baxter650

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    Sooner the better and it doesn't matter on what. First thing i drove was a Farm tractor and was opperating a frontend loader long before ever driving a car.
    Perents never let any of us boys drive their cars, took my test using a one ton flat deck Ford borrowed from work.
    44 years old and i still havent driven either of my parents cars.
     
  11. sepr2

    sepr2

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    I taught my daughter to drive in my '71 FJ40. She had to master a clutch before she could get her DL. (My and her mothers rule) Practiced in a Church parking lot accross from the house. Funny, she now at 21 drives a Ford Focus, at her choice, that HAD to be a standard trans. Her BF can't drive it because he can't drive a stick. :)
    My son is learning on his '78 FJ40 we are getting it ready for him when he gets his license. He has praticed with the '71 FJ40 as well and has driven it on the trails also. (Lockers required) Doing OK. Still can't believe he will be getting the learners permit in 3 weeks. Time Flies...
     
  12. 60wag

    60wag SILVER Star

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    I gave my 14 year old daughter her first driving lesson last evening. I recently bought a older SAAB 9-3 as a commuter car. It will be the car she starts driving on. Its an automatic, with 4 air bags, antilock brakes and decent crash worthiness. We went to a large vacant parking lot and she had a blast. We started with just braking, no gas pedal. It didn't take long till she was confident braking and turning. She got the feel of accelerating gently and trying to brake gently. A great positive experience. She was begging me to back this evening. My wife thinks she should wait until she's closer to getting a permit. I think the earlier experience will get her thinking more about driving and traffic flow whenever she's in the car - driving or not. If she can observe me driving and dealing left turns with oncoming traffic, I think she'll have a better understanding of traffic when its her turn to make the decisions. As for auto/manual... if she wants to learn manual on the 60, great but I think my 60 is an exremely unsafe vehicle for a beginning driver.

    LandCruiserphil: why no rearview mirror? My daughter commeted on how odd it is to have the mirror - things move "funny" in the mirror. I agree it can be a bit distracting but especially for parking lot training, its something to experience and get used to.
     
  13. rachel1027

    rachel1027 TUT NURSE

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    That is a good question
    i solved the problem by making my ex teach my oldest kids how to drive! I do think all need to be taught on a stick, that way should anyone ever need help, and the only car available is a stick shift, no problem.

    That being said, my ex is a police officer ( a traffic enforcement officer to boot, not to mention got the whole Shattered Dreams program rolling here), expects his kids to drive within the limits of the law and taught them these things from the begining yet our oldest just got his first set of tickets-speeding and no seatbelt- after umteen warnings. He knows better, he just choses to ignore it.

    Here driving school is mandatory unless you wait until you are 18. I am sure it is not the caliber of the school mentioned in aprevious post but better than nothing.

    I plan on teaching the three year old twins some basics as time progresses. The boy already knows how to put the keys in the ignition, pull the shifter out of gear in hubbys heep (lol), and that somehow the pedals make you go and stop. Oh and he knows S-T-O-P. The only word he can spell so far:)
     
  14. MDarius

    MDarius I break stuff. SILVER Star

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    What are the pros and cons of starting them young, around 10-13 years old, and on graded dirt roads?
     
  15. LandCruiserPhil

    LandCruiserPhil Peter Pan Syndrome Supporting Vendor

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    Its more about learning to use the right mirror. To many times your rear view can be blocked and if you are not famliar with a right mirror you are hosed. Turning around to see if you can change lanes or if someone is to the side of you takes your eyes off the road in front of you. Try backing a trailer sometime useing the left mirror and turning around to see what the right side is doing is difficult and confusing. Im tall and have traveled a lot over the years and it just seem to be in my field of vision and you can see everything you need to without it. :) Sorry for the long winded reply
     
  16. mabrodis

    mabrodis

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    My son is 5..he drives me to work.. :D

    j/k but he's darn bright, I show him examples as we're driving, why it's dangerous what someone is doing, or I'll be backing up and show him where I'm looking and what I'm looking for...trying to not just give the "this is how you do it", but this is WHY you do it, and why these rules make sense, etc...

    My son has a battery powered Cruiser he loves to drive around, ofcourse it's not like a real vehicle, but it is teaching him alot about the physical movement/mechanics of driving, turning slow versus turning fast, which way to turn when you're backing up and want to go a certain way (he does better than alot of adults I've seen)... :D
     
  17. dieseldog

    dieseldog She idles just fine . . .

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    My dad taught us by taking the family car to a huge parking lot at the high school when there was a lot of snow and ice. He said, "see what she'll do". And we did. We did donuts and all sorts of stuff and learned how cars react to steering, throttle and brake inputs.
     
  18. 72FJ40LandCruiser

    72FJ40LandCruiser

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    When I was 13 my grandpa used to insist that I drove him to town in his big ass suburban. At that poing I knew what to do and he'd just sit back and tell me what businesses to drive to. It was a small town, so it's not like there was a lot of traffic to deal with, but it's good to start your kids out young with learning how to drive.
     
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