Sunday, September 13, 2009


Our daughter has just turned 16 and gotten her driver's permit. She has been eager to go out to practice driving everyday and had been steadily improving. She drove my husband's big Dodge Ram truck yesterday for the second time. I personally don't like to drive the truck because it is so large and heavy and the covered bed of the truck reduces visibility, however, our older daughter drove it for years and loved driving it.

Tom usually backs the truck into the driveway and so she wanted to do the same. The first time she parked it with great success. Yesterday she did this:

Actually, it was much worse before I took the picture Tom had been inside the garage pushing the panels out to assess the damage. She hit it so hard that the back bumper of the truck was pushed forward and caused a flat tire, the paint is scraped on the back of the truck and the tailgate doesn't go down flat. Worse is that Tom's nice car parked inside the garage was also damaged.

We are awaiting the insurance appraisal and for the cost to be added up.

Our Daughter is horrified and upset and saying she will never drive again. We want her to learn from the accident, to recognise for herself what went wrong so she can carry that awareness when she drives again.

Tom and I are at odds over whether we should expect her to contribute to the cost of the repairs. What do you think?


Anonymous said...

Getting her back behind the wheel again quickly will help her get over her shattered nerves.

As for contributing to the cost, it depends on her financial situation. Does she have a job? Would a payment plan make sense?

Alternately, could she work off some of the cost by doing extra chores around the house?

Lori R. said...

OH this brings back memories of my son putting the car in the garage, hitting the gas hard instead of the brake and practically shoving the back wall of the garage right off the foundation! Hard lessons always seem to stick better.
I that case my son had to work off some of the cost. We have a farm so extra work was not a problem...

smalltownmom said...

Shortly after he got his permit, our son backed out too close to the mailbox and ripped the bumper off the car. I take some responsibility because I should have supervising more carefully. We paid for the repairs. He was shaken up enough as it was.

Nan said...

Much, much better for her to have had this experience in your driveway than in a parking lot someplace else.

If she has a source of income, I'd have her make payments of some sort even if they don't come close to the actual cost of repairs. Letting her work some of it off with extra chores is a good idea, too.

And get her out there driving again ASAP. The only way she's going to get good at it is through practice.

(I have my share of stories, too, like the time my then 14-year-old took her dad's pickup joyriding on country back roads, put it in a ditch, and destroyed a tire and wheel in the process. A few years later, when she was finally a legal driver, she parked a car in the middle of a river. The water was barely knee deep and the car survived, but even so. . . how do you decide to park a car in a river when you're neither stoned nor drunk at the time?)

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Sometimes I'm a softie. I probably wouldn't make her pay--it seems way too early in the driving process to be able to successfully back up a large truck. It takes a while to learn to gauge the size of the vehicle and the space around it.