Monday, June 27, 2011

Baby, You Can Drive My Car (While I Sit Here And Worry)

This post is part of a partnership with Allstate.

My oldest daughter turned fifteen a couple of months ago, and as usual another year older brought another whole set of worries for me. This time it's sophmore boys, college planning, and what if Lady Gaga's next concert falls on the exact same day as the homecoming dance? (That last one is her worry, not mine.)

But I have to say the thing that's weighing heaviest on my mind lately is the fact that my first-born will be old enough to drive a car next year.

[Pause for emphasis.]


Chances are she won't be running out and getting her license on the very morning of her 16th birthday (like I did) but it's inevitable she'll be getting behind the wheel sometime in the next year or so. How did this happen? It seemed like one minute I'm changing her diaper, and the next thing I know I'm grabbing the dashboard with my white knuckles and screaming, "Don't hit the tree!" as she overcompensates and veers off and hits the neighbor's brand-new Mercedes instead and then bolts out of the car yelling, "I TOLD YOU I DIDN'T WANT YOU TEACHING ME HOW TO DRIVE. MOM."

Okay, I admit I may have been overthinking this whole thing, but the truth is the statistics for teenage drivers is sobering. Add to that my memories of crazy teenage driving hijinks and it's enough to make me want to campaign to have the legal driving age raised to 30.

Plus it's my legacy to worry about my teen driving: Every single year since we got our licenses, my mom has paid for the roadside assistance program for all five of her kids saying that she "sleeps better" knowing that we're covered for emergencies on the road. I think it's a great idea, and along with scrawling 'No Boys Allowed' on the dashboard it's one of the things I was thinking of doing for my own daughter once she starts driving.

But with the statistic that 52 million households pay annual fees for roadside assistance with the average driver using their service only once every three years, I started thinking about the last time either my husband or I used our service and I realized I couldn't remember when it was. Although there was that one time I was thinking of calling them when I was on that long barren stretch of the 5 and I couldn't find a Starbucks to save my life. Hey, at the time it seemed like an emergency.

Here's something that might make more sense: Allstate has a program called the Good Hands Roadside service that offers pay-as-you-go roadside assistance. It's absolutely free to sign up, you do not have have Allstate insurance to use the service, and there is no sign-up fee or monthly fees. And check it out - you can sign up right here using this handy widget:

I realize this isn't going to protect my daughter from all that can go wrong while she's at the wheel, but it's one less thing to worry about. Now all I can do is make sure she gets excellent driver training, doesn't drink/text and drive, and follows all the other rules of save driving. And make sure she knows where to get a cup of coffee on the road when she really needs one.

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I was compensated for my participation in this program, but no restrictions were placed on the content of my review. All opinions are solely my own. 

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Schadenfreude Warehouse said...

I hear you, girlfriend. Good thing you don't live in on particular state in the Southwest, since its moronic governor (also a presidential hopeful) just vetoed a law that would prohibit texting and driving.

Lin said...

One of my most vivid memories of kids and driving is the day Jane got her license...we got back from the DMV, she ran in the house squealing I got it, I got it and ran out the door with her 12-year old brother in tow saying I'm going to take Colin to his soccer practice. And then I watched (in horror) as my two precious children headed off down the street in the trusty Ford Granada and silently thought, WTF just happened?

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