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  1. Default How long is too long for a teen driver

    Hi guys!

    I am a 16 year old boy now. This summer I would like to drive and pick up a few of my friends in Scottsdale AZ. I live in Parker CO. By summer I will be 17 and my question to you, is whether or not I should attemp to make the 892 mile trip in one day. I know this is an incredibly long drive for one day but as a responsible young adult I think I would be able to make it. I am in pretty good shape also so I guess I would just like some thoughts/suggestions.

    I just really don't want to stay in a hotel.

    Thank you in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    That's a tough call. You won't be able to stay in a hotel, nobody will rent you a room till you are 18. Are your parents okay with this trip?

    Driving that straight through is about 14 hours. That's really pushing it and I don't recommend that for a solo driver of any age. A legal and reasonably safe choice is sleeping in your car in a 24 hour truck stop, but not one in a city, find one in a more rural area. I'd stick to the major chains (Flying J, Pilot, Loves, Petro, TA). Don't try to sleep in your car in an Interstate highway rest area, that's not legal or very safe.

  3. Default

    To answer your question I wanted to get all of the details of the trip figures out before I ask. Although my parents are quite strict, I have this strange feeling that they will allow it.

    I will be staying in Scottsdale for a few night before the return trip so that I will have time to rest and go around their city.

    I will only be making this round trip once because they will be flying home from Denver. I will have to check out the costs of the flights from there to here because there is a chance that they could fly out. But that cost a bit of money which I am not sure they have. And another reason that keeps me wanting to drive down there and pick them up is because I think it will be great to go on a road trip with friends.

    Anyways I see that this is going to be a difficult dicision to make. Ugh. Also sorry for any typing errors, I am typing this all through my iPod. LOL.

    Now my hands hurt. :)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default pitfalls

    A 900 mile day is a very long day for any driver, but there are some addition issues to think about here.

    First of all, that's really longer than we'd recommend for ANY solo driver, regardless of age or experience. Its hard to stay focused for that amount of time. However, when you add in your lack of experience driving long distances, it also means its going to be harder for you to know when you've reached your limit.

    On the flip side, when you return with passengers, it will be even more easy for you to be distracted by your friends, and that might make it even more of a challenge to drive a long distance while being focused.

    One final consideration, you'll need to see what will be allowed by your drivers license. Most states have restictions on the number of hours and passengers for drivers under age 18.

  5. Default

    Let me begin by thanking you two who have answered me. And although the replies haven't been exactly what I wanted to hear, I thank you for your honesty.

    It is true that there are many obstacles which will need to be addressed before (and if) I do decide to undertake this. As for the driving age, I will be allowed as many passengers as I wish when I leave because I will have had my license for over a year. So that will not be a problem...

    I can't imagine what will keep me up and at 'em the entire time I will be driving, but I do have a large library of all sorts of music to play. (from my ipod so i won't be changing cds while driving of course!!)

    Let me clarify this for you. I know that one of my friends will be able to come but the other is not sure yet. So, I don't know if more or less people in the car with you is good or bad, but that is what might happen.


    It is correct that I do not have much long distance driving experience. On previous road trips with the family I have driven 300+ mile segments until someone in the car had to use the bathroom. I know mine will be a totally different experience without having parents in the car and just being by myself that long.

    I guess it is good that I'm giving myself quite a bit of time to think about this before I go...

    Thanks again!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    As for the driving age, I will be allowed as many passengers as I wish when I leave because I will have had my license for over a year.
    That may be allowed in Colorado, but possibly not in the other states you may be traveling through. There is also the possible issue of curfews. When you are under 18 and legally still a minor, the laws can be tricky and some states are very strict. More and more of them have a graduated license program that can affect what you can do until you are 21.

  7. Default

    Oh darn it...

    I forgot about curfew....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default not a deal breaker

    Curfew is a bit of an issue, but I don't think it would be a deal breaker. Generally, there is an exemption if you are traveling between two destinations (you can't just be cruising/driving in circles) and if you are camping or even sleeping at a truck stops, you wouldn't really be affected by a curfew as long as you are staying at your sleeping location.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Depends on the people

    Quote Originally Posted by shoey View Post
    So, I don't know if more or less people in the car with you is good or bad...
    I find that having someone to talk to helps to keep me awake by getting the air circulating, though singing along with the radio can have much of the same effects. Now, if you could find somebody to take along with you on the ride down, that would probably help your situation out quite a bit.

  10. Default

    So, I guess I would like to know this...

    Would you let your 17 year old drive that far in one day?

    If not one day, two days?

    Or not at all?

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