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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering if it is such a good idea to let a teen or a newer,inexperienced driver get behind the wheel of a powerful car???

No disrespect meant to any teens that might be a member of this forum. I just wanted to post a thought I had and maybe get some other opinions.

After hearing of another fatal accident that happened over hear the other day where a 17 year old female driver tried to race another car in her new mustang and ended up losing control , crashed and died. it got me really thinking about is it safe for teens to be able to drive at 16, let alone a car with 350+ hp. Should dealers be allowed to sell powerful cars to teens? I think there should be a special permit for high hp cars before say the age of 21 or so. Lets face it muscle cars don't handle the same way as regular passenger cars.

It seems to me that people develop a false sense of security behind the wheel of a car. The feeling of invincibility takes over thier better judgement because they are in control of a 3500 lb car. basically could be used as a rolling weapon like a tank . I think people start feeling "safe" behind the wheel therefore taking risks they would not normally take if they were outside of their car. i.e. tailgating, speeding, flipping people the middle finger, throwing things at people, yelling obsenities, multiple lane changes, racing and so on. This doesn't just go for teens but many adults as well. This together with a powerful muscle car is a recipe for disaster.

I had a few crappy cars that I ended up crashing and totaling when I was 16/ 17 ( wasn't my fault both times. I was rear ended ) Then I bought me a 92 5.0 mustang @ 17. This car was cool as hell and I just wanted to drive it fast when I got it. ( typical teen) It wasn't long before I ended up taking a corner too fast after a rain and I slid across somebody's front lawn while doing 2 360's then clipping the mailbox that ended up snapping in half and bouncing off of my hood and windshield before coming to a complete stop 2 feet away from the parked car in the driveway. I learned an important lesson that night. countless speeding tickets later I sold the mustang for $500 bucks with a burnt out clutch and 4 bald tires. Looking back I did some really stupid stuff in that car just because it was a somewhat powerful car and I could. I am really lucky to be alive considering all the dumb stuff I did.

I noticed that many other mustang drivers drive the same way ( burning out, fish tailing, racing, ect )

So I guess the point to all this is while you feel old and mature at 16 you are really inexperienced and not fully matured yet.( more prone to make bad "spur of the moment decisions" ) I see these parents that go out and buy thier kids a fast mustang or brand new BMW or Mercedes and it blows my mind. I saw a father buying a 67 chevelle that was all hopped up and dragged out for his kid the other day up at the classic car shop. It seems to me that buying a car like that for a teen is like handing an inexperienced kid a loaded gun and telling them to " be careful "......
 

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Well, I finished building my '67 Mustang at 17 with a 330HP 302.

I have, on occasion, gone a shade too fast on public roads for a small bit of time, but generally, I speed less in that car than I do in my Volvo.

I have not and will not ever do a burnout on the street, will not "race" down streets. (Though I have been known once or twice to challenge a few people through first gear)

If I am taking any kind of risk in any car, it better be in a situation where I can consider all the variables - IE, no streets where someone can turn in front of me, no pedestrian traffic, no possibility for any mistake except my own. The racetrack is for putting the car through its paces.

I have never had an accident, and now am 19, have never had a speeding ticket, parking ticket, traffic violation, or the like. That is not to say that I have never broken the law, but I very rarely do.

I have had one time where I did something stupid. Coming home one afternoon, I was turning left onto a street (country roads, no traffic.) I gave it a bit too much gas, (hoping to break the tires loose as I came around)

Bad idea. I didn't have any sort of track experience to know how to manage that kind of slide, and immediately let off the gas when I was 45 degrees from the road - the tires caught again, and slung the front end around until I found myself, unharmed, in the ditch. There is a chip of paint on the tip of the hood, and a small dent in the bumper, that still remind me not to be an idiot. A fence had chipped the paint. 2 MPH faster, and I would have been through the fence.

That was the only "stupid" thing I have done in the car.

But, I also think, knowing some of my friends, that my driving is not typical. I am cautious on roads, and have been known to snub conversation when I am driving in heavy traffic so I can concentrate.

I think, what really sets me apart from the others, is that I built my car. I put a lot of myself into it, and to see it wrecked would hurt a lot. Yes I had money from my parents, (though I supplied a good fraction of it) but it took me 2.5 years of painstaking work to make that car what it is. That gives you a motivation to treat it right.

Although, I drive the Volvo almost everywhere now (the Mustang has been retired just for driving to enjoy/drag strip instead of daily driver) and still don't have any traffic incidents.

So in a nutshell - you have to consider it on a case by case basis. I would say, at the risk of sounding cynical, that most teenage drivers do not deserve or need something with power - but - you can kill someone with a toyota just as effectively as a corvette, it just takes a little more headstart. It comes down to what is effectively natural selection - power makes it a little easier to kill yourself, but ultimately you would have made that same choice with a less powerful car - in fact, you might take risks with one that you wouldn't with a car that is more valuable to you.

I can get into what is terrible with parents just buying their kids cars flat out - and replacing them as necessary - but that is another topic.

If I ever have children - they will either work for their car, in the form of coming up with the money, or they will work to build it - either way, some of their sweat and money will be tied into the car itself. The right to freedom (as a minor) is earned.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: thekingofazle on 7/9/06 2:34am ]</font>
 

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My first "Real Car" ... meaning a car I actually found and wanted for mine ...

Was a 1967 Camaro SS350 ... That was 1973 and I was Sixteen at the time.

I drove that car like crazy for five years did all sorts of stuff with it and to it (mainly paint and interior) ... only mis-hap was one night I tried to drive between two parked car which were a little too close together and I scrapped the rear quarter just a little.

Now that is not to say I didn't do things that could have trurned out Real Real BAD ... but nothing ever actually did turn out real real bad ...

So with that all said ... I think it's safe to assume up front that Teenagers will be Teenagers, but it doesn't necessarily mean they are automatically NUMBSKULLS just because they are teenagers


Or so it seems to me.
 

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If you make the kid reponsible for the vehicle, as in making the payments or paying for insurance, then he'll probably have more respect for it. If he works for it then he won't treat it like crap. Just handing the kid the keys is probably not a good idea
 

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I still think the first car should be something totally uncool!

Had a disagreement with myself (and the stepson) over his first car. I was willing to go as far as a VW beetle (lame as I am, ... I thought I was being more than fair, even generous!...I still think nice clean VW's with paint, interior, 1.8 - 2 liter barrels, stinger exhaust and wheels are kinda' cool). He wouldn't have any of it. He was holding out for either a 4 eye Mustang or a Saleen... both with more than stock horsepower. There was no way he was getting into either of them alone....not so much that he would abuse them...much! Its just too easy to let peer pressure and friendship get in the way of good sense. Some of his running partners, have that lean and hungry look you see in picture of serial killers before they pick their lifes vocation, have no respect for anything or anyone. Don't know why they are friends, but teens are strange like that. You can't chose your kids friends, but that doesn't mean you have to contribute to their delinquency.

Even when I was in HS, the "rich kids" were getting nearly new cars as soon as they got their license and most were getting new hot cars for early graduation presents.

I think the Army, Air Force and Marines get more recruits from guys wanting a new Mustang than all the Commercials and recruitment programs put together. If they really want a flood of new recruits, they ought to give away a new Mustang GT as a signing bonus.


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Beoweolf on 7/9/06 7:22am ]</font>
 

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I was one of those teens. Well, sorta, my first cars were pretty junky, but it didn't matter i was "stupid" with my driving. It caught up to me though, when i was 20 with my 99 v6 mercury cougar, fun car i'll admit, but i got several tickets and actually had my license suspended..... twice, for too many points. Seeing that i drive for a living i needed my license. When i moved to denver thats actually when i got rid of my cars and was forcing myself to ride the bus. That really sucked but i did it.
I've been pretty good about my driving recently. mostly go the speed limit and all that good stuff. I had to learn the hard way though.
and for the record the car with more power i actually DO drive slower.
its a kind of "respect" for the power i think, i'm not sure but thats how i do it.
 

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As Beoweolf says ... a couple of "Un-Cool" cars is good ... my first car was a 1963 "pea green" Rambler Station Wagon ... three on the tree,

Second car was a bit better ... 68 Olds Delta 88 Convertible with a 455 ... really a very fun car in some ways, but not a Hot Rod by any stretch of the imagination.

To add to my earlier post ... When I said the Camaro was a Car I wanted ... I was implying I did have to "pay the freight" when it came to owning and maintaining that car ... Mom and Dad definately DID NOT give me a free ride on that thing at all. I had been working for over a year at that point (first job at the age of 15 and worked for the same people til I was 21.)

CLEARLY THAT MAY HAVE AFFECTED MY ATTITUDE ABOUT LIFE AND "MY" THINGS!!!

_________________


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: MonsterMach on 7/9/06 8:11am ]</font>
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Good responses guys....I agree with the statement that the teen that pays for and maintains his or her own car is more likely to take good care of it and not abuse it too hard .

Like beowolf said I also think teens should start out on an "uncool " cars and work your way up. My first car was a ford tempo. Talk about uncool. That car ended up totaled. second was a chevy cavalier. same. it just seems teens are prone to crashes bieng their fault or not. I would love to see some statistics on what percentage of teens are involved in accidents.

I am also not saying that all teens are bad drivers or idiots and such. I am just saying that for some people once you get older than say 25 or so you realize how important your and others life is and that you are really not immortal. This is something you don't think about when your 16. when your older you might think better about racing that ricer that just pulled up next to you at the red light and is reving his engine like a dirtbike. No longer do you feel the need to show off and prove to everybody that your car is faster even though you know that guy hasn't got a chance. Its kinda like people that are filthy rich usually don't brag about how much money they have. It the ones who don't have much money that front and brag about how much they got. Its like they have to prove something for what they are lacking.

alot of teens are fearless and thrill seekers. I was. Some are really good at the whole driving thing and some are not. Most make it through their teen years unscathed with valuable lessons learned. Others test the limits and are not so lucky. These accidents could have been prevented but some people will only learn the hard way. these people cannot be told from those that have gone through it before them. They just have to find out for themselves.

I am just saying that it seems dangerous to me to put a kid behind the wheel of something they cannot potentially handle without some proper training.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: norcal500 on 7/9/06 10:33am ]</font>
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
On 2006-07-08 19:03, FEandGoingBroke wrote:
That 17 year old racing girl killed the wife and Daughter of some African countries King.... They were in one of the car's that crashed...
that was it. The other people that died in that crash were like king and queen of some country in Africa. Its really sad
 

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It really depends on the person. I'm 19 now and the car has been in the 13 seconds or faster range for more than 2 years now. A good bit faster now with a 347 in it.

Almost every penny spent on the car has been of my own which helps a bit when it comes to not driving crazy. I feel that I have a better respect for any vehicle I drive, paid for with my money or not (beater truck), than most other people my age. Many do not realize the forces generated by vehicles and what happens when you stop something with that much force in a split second. A good deal have no idea what the limits of their vehicle are and often times end up testing them in situations which place others in harms way.

I will not say that I am perfect as I have raced on the street before, albeit as far away from the city as possible, but after getting caught once it really makes you think about how risky it is and how much you really can lose other than money. The $10 charged here for test and tunes at the local track really doesn't amount to **** compared to any of the consequences of racing on the street.

If I had to help choose out a vehicle like you I would start with something slower and let him improve its performance, not buy something outright performance oriented in the first place. My car started as an I6 and I have done every modification to it myself and even though I am not naturally someone who drives bad (if that makes sense) it does help me to realize what kind of energy I have put into my car and others into their cars and into their lives.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: gork1rogues on 7/9/06 11:02am ]</font>
 

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I installed a 375 horse 302 in my 67 mustang when I was 18 years old. The car can do a 12 second quarter mile but I normally dont drive it fast on the street. In fact I have never even gotten a speeding ticket (knock on wood). It depends on the teen getting the car, some teens are responsible and some are not. Sure I have gone fast on the street, although only when the streets were empty. I know lots of kids who have rolled their cars but its mostly because they were drunk. My personal opinion is if you are going to give a kid a muscle car make him (or her) build and pay for it, then they will be very protective over it and drive it carefully.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: ujt389 on 7/9/06 11:10am ]</font>
 

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On 2006-07-08 19:03, FEandGoingBroke wrote:
That 17 year old racing girl killed the wife and Daughter of some African countries King.... They were in one of the car's that crashed...
The facts of the collision are correct, but those killed were actually Tongan. An island nation, "discovered(?)" by Captian cook. It is between Hawaii and Austraila, New Zealand, in the South Pacific. A long way from Africa. The people are actually Pacific Islanders, much like Hawaiian, Somans, Guamanians.

Main articles: History of Tonga & Tu'i Tonga Empire

Archaeological evidence shows that the first settlers in Tonga sailed from the Santa Cruz Islands, as part of the original Austronesian-speakers' (Lapita) migration which originated out of S.E. Asia some 6000 years ago. Archaeological dating places Tonga as the oldest known site in Polynesia for the distinctive Lapita ceramic ware, at 2800–2750 years ago. The "Lapita" people lived and sailed, traded, warred, and intermarried in the islands now known as Tonga, Samoa, and Fiji for 1000 years, before more explorers set off to the east to discover the Marquesas, Tahiti, and eventually the rest of the Pacific Ocean islands. For this reason, Tonga, Samoa, and Fiji are described by anthropologists as the cradle of Polynesian culture and civilization
 

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Fortunately a muscle car or newer muscle car are out of reach financially for many teens, but there is a cheap way of going really fast on a budget, and around here it seems like not a couple of weeks go by without a young person getting killed on a "Crotch Rocket" motorcycle. I believe we have had at least 5 or 6 killed this year. These things are powerful and there is very little protection when a mistake is made. You can buy one at 18, and even younger with a parent's permission. There are at least two crotch rocket clubs here in town that I know of, and their mission is mayhem on the streets. One of the initiations into one of the clubs is to go at least 135 MPH through a mountainous stretch of road here in town, and at least one has been killed this year trying to do just that.
 

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I dont think all teens think they're immortal... life is pretty short, no need to shorten it any further.

And I agree, unless these people have experienced it firsthand, its hard to comprehend the forces at play. And thats all it boils down to - is experience. If you moved the driving age to 20, nothing would change.
 

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I think ujt389 and gork1rogues are right it all depends upon the kid.
I had a 68 cougar in 1979,I built myself it was a fast car ,I installed a 351 and dam near killed myself in that car.
I have seen kids race jr dragsters and at 18 jump into 160 mph super comp car some are ready for it some are NOT !
The hard part is knowing which kids can handle it and which cant.
Look at what John Force Is letting his girls do.
If you get involved with your kid and know what he or she can handle and ask others who know your kid what they think the kid can handle you should be ok.
Cupcake65 I have to disagree with you its not hard for a 18 year old to find a 89 mustang for 2k and dump a hot motor in and some gears and be running around town in a 12 sec. car.
Cycles on the other hand are a problem.
It still is up to the parents to get involved with the kids.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
On 2006-07-08 11:31, thekingofazle wrote:


So in a nutshell - you have to consider it on a case by case basis. I would say, at the risk of sounding cynical, that most teenage drivers do not deserve or need something with power - but - you can kill someone with a toyota just as effectively as a corvette, it just takes a little more headstart. It comes down to what is effectively natural selection - power makes it a little easier to kill yourself, but ultimately you would have made that same choice with a less powerful car - in fact, you might take risks with one that you wouldn't with a car that is more valuable to you.



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: thekingofazle on 7/9/06 2:34am ]</font>
this is where I kinda disagree though. The point I was trying to make was if you put in the same instance that same young,inexperienced driver in a muscle car and next in a slower passenger car they would not make the same decision. I do understand what you are saying though about it could happen to anyone in any car, but I'm saying that if the option is available they might take it without thinking through the consiquences of their actions. Would you try and hotdog in a taurus or an escort? You can't. those cars just don't do that stuff. They might think differently behind a hi powered mustang or whatever car with a respectable amount of horsepower if the option were simply there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I just saw the news and the girl who caused the accident didn't die but is in jail faced with 8 years or something. Terrible story anyway...
 

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Here's my take on this subject. First, I don't believe in a parent buying their child their first, last or ANY car...Period! Muscle cars are legal products and dealers bear no responsibility as to who buys one. When I wanted to buy a friend's sweet '56 Crown Vic '60s style custom rod right after I got my license and asked for a loan, my dad said this: "You can have ANY damm car that you want so long as you pay for it with your own cash." So I didn't get the Vic, but hustled up a job, saved my money and bought a clean '55 Ford 4 door for $125. Remember, we're talking 1967 dollars here and I was earning $1.25 an hour...
I hopped the mighty 272 motor up a bit as I could afford to....4bbl carb, duals and an Isky cam for starters, and ran the hell out of it! Yes, I did stuff that could've gotten me killed, but I would've done the same things with a Beetle. The '55 was finally totalled by a drunk plowing into her while she was parked alongside the road and not by anything that I did.

The point that I'm trying to make is that teenagers are teenagers. With few exceptions like Wesley,they're going to drive crazily whether it's in a stock Escort or a '89 Mustang 5.0. When I was 16, I drove my dad's '66 XL (390-2bbl) or my mom's '65 Mustang with a 200 6 with permission until I bought my own ride. By the speedos, the XL had a 117 mph top end and the 'Stang's was 98 mph. I worry more about teens drinking and driving and big carloads of 'em daring the driver to play dangerous games than the type of car they drive. Personally, I'd like to see the minimum age for getting a license bumped up to 17 years old here in Ohio. I'd say 18, but kids need to get jobs and some like me graduate from HS at 17.

BTW, I still smoke tires, play top end racer, corner carver and such when in a safe environment and I'm 55.....
So maybe I should trade my Hot Rod Lincoln LSC daily driver for a Focus since I'm not a responsible driver in a few folk's eyes....


Jan...a rodder for life!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
right, but one of the problems with the whole things is lack of experience. If you bump up the driving age to 18 that just takes away 2 years of driving experience.that puts you were you were when you were 16, but then again they are mentally 2 years more mature at 18. might have better judgement .

peer pressure as mentioned before is another part of it as well as drinking and driving. this is part of the "bad spur of the moment decisions"

A kids at a party and drinks a few beers. they leave to go to another party . they all pile in one car. a friend dares him to race a car that pulls up next to you. a 16 year old might take the challenge to show off. someone older might not feel the need to show off and pass on the challenge.

I not saying kids shouldn't have fun. everybody should have fun with their cars . going through all that makes us who we are today, but when fun becomes fatal and endangers all of us on the road it becomes a problem to me...


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: norcal500 on 7/9/06 11:53pm ]</font>
 
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