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  1. Default Whats a reasonable roadtrip for teen drivers?

    My son and some friends (17 and 18), fresh out of high school, propose to roadtrip half way cross country -- 1,200 miles -- out and back in a week. By my math its at least 24 hours each way, meaning 4 days out of 7 spent driving to complete the round trip. I'm skeptical of such a trip for relatively new drivers -- but apparently my wife and I are alone among all the parents?

    What am I missing? Or are the other parents out of touch?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I personally would not let them go till they are all 18. They will never be able to get hotel rooms.

  3. #3


    If it helps at all, I know 2 sets of parents who took the same view as you. I'm going on a road trip next month with my 18 year old niece and her friend - the only reason I'm along is that their parents wouldn't let them go by themselves and they couldn't find another adult to go with them who wasn't a blood relative.

    I guess it depends on the kids, though. Good luck!

  4. Default Responsability

    I have two adult children and two Seniors in H.S. The following would be my critieria for approval .

    1. The child has been driving to and from a job for at least a year.
    2. Paid for the car they are driving
    3. Paid for the insurance for that car
    4. Does all their own laundry
    5. Has written an itinerary for the trip that includes sleeping hours. An open discussion with all kids and parents about the trip.

    Unless they are responsible young adults who are more independant than dependant on mom and kids would not have the okay to go otherwise. When kids haven't learned to be self- reliant and responsible for themselves how can they be safe on a road trip?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default wading in

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    There is an entire article here that talks about just this issue. Certainly, the big thing is knowing how responsible the teens are, and jumping head first into a cross country trip is probably not the way to start. Before allowing them to take a week long trip 1200 miles away, let them go 200 miles away for a weekend. This will let you see that they are responsible enough to actually undertake such a task, and they will get a feel for what its like to be on the road and get a taste of both the fun, and the work involved with being on the road.

  6. #6

    Default Dont worry

    I was in about the same place a few months ago. I'm 18 and I got back from a 7,000 mile coast to coast road trip with two friends who are both 17.

    Now before you question the motives of my parents, let me inform you that my parents are the type that didn't let me cross the street alone until freshman year. They realized that I'm going to college next year this road trip would really show me the"real world" and it's challenges

    My trip itself went smoothly, and I think that the 1,200 mile trip in a week is very reasonable. As long as they are responsible drivers and don't have a history of doing stupids things, you shouldn't have any worries.

    Definitely go over with them where they will be driving, where they are going to stay, and how far it is between destinations. Make sure that they budget well and have more than enough money. I would also not help them out with expenses. If they really want to go on a road trip, they need to fund it themselves.

    Also, to be safe, get all the parents to meet and go over insurance and stuff.
    Just in case there is an accident and the driver is to blame, not the car's owner. On my trip, we used my car, and we had the other drivers and their parents sign a waiver that they are responsible for the car when they are at the wheel. And it the worst case scenario, have the 18 year old be their "legal" guardian for the week. This is in WORST case scenario, like there is a bad car accident or injury.
    Now no offence to "threeicys" but those requests are bit unreal in some cases, especially if the car is already paid, or if the teen hasn't had a job. Don't let them not go because of something they didn't do a year ago.

    From a teen's point of view, a road trip is a right of passage, a real way to see the america, and find out what its like to really be in charge of yourself.
    It will be an experience they won't forget, and unless there is a big problem, let them.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default But Be Prepared

    LutherIV touched briefly on a matter which should be of some concern to you: obtaining medical treatment in the event of an emergency. For a somewhat more detailed discussion of that topic, read through this post and the forms that it links to.


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