Many universities have strict rules about students having cars on college campuses, especially for freshman living in the dorms. If your freshman doesn’t have those restrictions or they don’t apply to them, you have a hard decision to make– do you allow your child take the car to school?
While they are eighteen—legally adults—they are still considered inexperienced drivers. According to the CDC, people ages 15-24 account for around a third of the total cost of injuries from car accidents. Are they responsible enough to take care of a car without your constant eagle eye watch?
Here are some pros and cons you are probably weighing:
Pro: If you let them take the car, you will not have to go pick them up to bring them home, therefore, increasing the chance of them visiting more frequently whether it be for laundry or for the casual weekend.
Con: When they head home, they will be driving long periods of time for the first time in a while, meaning they just went from inexperienced to out of practice. Does that sound like a good combination to you? They will also probably be driving home after a long sleepless week of classes and extracurricular activities. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 100,000 crashes occur because of the driver being sleep deprived. Combine it with inexperience and being rusty and your teen is even more at risk for accident.
Pro: If a friend is in trouble or at the library too late, your child will be able to pick them up. Walking home in the dark can be dangerous, even on college campuses. It doesn’t take much for a college freshman to find trouble with alcohol or drugs.
Con: While your student is underage, it does not mean that they will not be tempted by certain collegiate pastimes. Going without saying, drinking combined with driving can have a very bad result.
Pro: They will be driving shorter distances and around campus, so less chance for accidents and issues.
Con: The shorter the distance, the less focus on the drive. Many students fail to wear seatbelts because it is only a short distance. Not only that, but driving only short distances can take a toll on certain cars. Also, college campuses are prime zones for parking tickets. Not many college students escape their four years without receiving a big fine from parking services due to an overdue meter or even a bad-parking job.
Regardless of your decision, be sure to have a discussion with your college freshman about safety as they embark on this new journey. This is their chance to grow and learn while making friends and endless memories. The last thing you want is to receive a phone call about an accident or an injury.