Author Topic: Car accidents and an 18 year old  (Read 1106 times)

caracarn

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 816
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Ohio
Car accidents and an 18 year old
« on: September 06, 2017, 05:44:32 AM »
So for the second time in 8 months my 18 year old stepdaughter has gotten into an accident.  Both times she was deemed at fault.  The first time was in the winter and she was headed down a main road in town with a downward slope and hit the back of a jeep or something that she slid under so did a good amount of damage to our car but almost nothing to the other.  Her defense that time that it was slippery and there was no way she could have stopped.  This time she was at her dad's and from what we heard she turned into a car coming the other way as she was turning left.  Her explanation this time was that the other driver was speeding and she did not see them nor did a your twenty something sibling who was with her, so if neither of them saw the other car and it was speeding how could she be expected to avoid hitting them?

My issue that I'm asking to see how others may have handled is that to me she has a very flippant attitude about these accidents (she was shaken up a bit with the first one and seemed to have gotten the message to be more careful) and in both cases even though I've pointed out very clearly how she is making a bunch of excuses about how it was unavoidable.  This accident is on a car on her dad's insurance (not even sure if it is his car, but that's a long story) and it sounds like the airbags deployed in this accident while they had not in the first one (though we think that was more because the damage was not on the bumper but above it) so it was certainly not minor.  She is also on our insurance because there are cars at our house she drives and I'm assuming this will still impact our premiums yet again (she had to cover some of the cost of the first accident increase as well as a portion of the deductible).  I kind of started to lose my temper yesterday when she got to our house (her dad had them come back early since he cannot get them to school in the morning now with no car) and the first things out of her mouth were, "the other lady was speeding so I'm kinda glad I hit her".  I have a real problem with the lack of concern that accidents or any kind are serious.  She also made a comment at some point about "what's the big deal it's only two accidents", to which I replied I've only had two accidents, only one of which was my fault, in my entire driving life so far.  It's just this I don't give a crap attitude that has me steamed.  Her dad is paying her ticket from the accident she just had, which I think just reinforces this lack of whatever.  I'm pretty sure my wife will not be on board with any type of consequences for her here.  In my anger last night I had started to explain to daughter that since she's shown to be a less than capable driver and she has a terrible attitude I'm tempted to remove driving privileges here.  Her next offense in our state with a point system will likely result in severe restrictions from the government if not a total loss of her license if ti comes in a short enough period.  Not to mention the expense of repairing a car and the ongoing premium increases.  At minimum she'd likely become uninsurable for a time.  It's just what I perceive as a total lack  of accountability that she could have done anything to avoid either of these two situations that concerns me.  She just feels like running into things is part of driving and it's no big deal.

Not much more I can say.  Just irritating and not sure if I'm overreacting at this point or what.

former player

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2613
  • Location: Avalon
Re: Car accidents and an 18 year old
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2017, 06:23:14 AM »
I'd be worried that she will end up seriously hurting herself or someone else.  If denying driving privileges is not on the cards, I'd suggest:

1. She goes on a defensive driving or other remedial driving course, preferably at her own cost.

2. She is not allowed to have passengers in her car until she has driven for a year without an accident - I think the research shows that inexperienced young drivers are more dangerous when they have passengers in the car, plus it means fewer people to potentially be hurt.

3.  She is limited to driving the cheapest and oldest of the household cars (take her off the insurance for the others).

4.  She pays the full cost of her insurance on any car in your household she is allowed to drive.

But if your wife is OK with her daughter driving dangerously in expensive cars and potentially killing someone, or herself, or potentially inflicting life-changing injuries on herself or others, there is not much you can do - so in that case, start with your wife.
Be frugal and industrious, and you will be free (Ben Franklin)

Dee18

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1285
Re: Car accidents and an 18 year old
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2017, 07:06:20 AM »
It sounds like what she needs is supervised driving: many more hours with an adult in the car.  Essentially she needs to go back to being a probationary driver, as if she only had a learner' permit.  This will require commitment from the adults in her life (or at least you u and your wife so she gets it some of the time) and will be inconvenient for them. Saying you are tempted to remove driving privileges and then doing nothing creates a disincentive for her to change her behavior.  While her cavalier attitude would drive me nuts, I know that my daughter (now 20) sometimes acted that way as a teen because she did not know how to take responsibility for a mistake without feeling like an awful human being.  It's an important skill to learn and this might be a teachable moment.

caracarn

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 816
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Car accidents and an 18 year old
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2017, 07:08:59 AM »
I'd be worried that she will end up seriously hurting herself or someone else.  If denying driving privileges is not on the cards, I'd suggest:

1. She goes on a defensive driving or other remedial driving course, preferably at her own cost.

2. She is not allowed to have passengers in her car until she has driven for a year without an accident - I think the research shows that inexperienced young drivers are more dangerous when they have passengers in the car, plus it means fewer people to potentially be hurt.

3.  She is limited to driving the cheapest and oldest of the household cars (take her off the insurance for the others).

4.  She pays the full cost of her insurance on any car in your household she is allowed to drive.

But if your wife is OK with her daughter driving dangerously in expensive cars and potentially killing someone, or herself, or potentially inflicting life-changing injuries on herself or others, there is not much you can do - so in that case, start with your wife.

With 3, in our state we can't take her off the insurance for others.  This is one of the most frustrating things from an MMM standpoint in trying to contain/optimize costs.  Even for my 19 year old who no longer lives with us and has not since she was almost 18 I had to sign an affadavit assuming all responsibility for taking her off our insurance.  The only way to be uninsured (legally) is to not even get your drivers license.  Once they have their license any licensed driver is required to be covered on all cars in the household.  But we do for the most part limit them to driving the cheapest, oldest car.  Only exception is when we need more than one driving at the same time for some reason.

With 4, our normal rule is that whatever the increase is when we add them they are responsible for, so she'a already paying her insurance.  What she is not paying is the increase after that of the accident because she could not absorb all of that with her income (which was just allowance since she was not working) and with the one accident we said OK, stuff happens but I think this changes that.  Now she is working so that can be a point of discussion if our insurance gets hit, which it might since our state is on a point system with licenses and moving violations.

Most of their driving is to school or work.  So they take siblings to school (4 of them go to the high school this year), so she'll have those passengers but both of these accidents were while out an about outside of those options.  Again, a good idea on 2 to think about.  She did have people in the car both accidents, so perhaps that contributed.  I like the time frame, so it's not arbitrary.

caracarn

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 816
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Car accidents and an 18 year old
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2017, 07:13:17 AM »
It sounds like what she needs is supervised driving: many more hours with an adult in the car.  Essentially she needs to go back to being a probationary driver, as if she only had a learner' permit.  This will require commitment from the adults in her life (or at least you u and your wife so she gets it some of the time) and will be inconvenient for them. Saying you are tempted to remove driving privileges and then doing nothing creates a disincentive for her to change her behavior.  While her cavalier attitude would drive me nuts, I know that my daughter (now 20) sometimes acted that way as a teen because she did not know how to take responsibility for a mistake without feeling like an awful human being.  It's an important skill to learn and this might be a teachable moment.
Yes, it was not until the "teachable moment" became a litany of continued reasons (excuses) why that I got upset.  We're running up against a lot of fun extra stuff like the fact she just turned 18 less than a month ago, so she's still under the mistaken impression that now certain house rules no longer apply as she is an "untouchable" adult or the fact that she also thinks since she has a lot of friends who drive that even if she lost privileges she'd just have friends haul her around.  Couple that with the fact that she has the option to just say she's going to live with her dad and my wife would prefer that not be the case 100% of the time (for a myriad of reasons including her own well being) the amount of pressure she'll be comfortable applying here will likely be diminished.

MsSindy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 524
  • Age: 50
  • Location: Philly Burbs
Re: Car accidents and an 18 year old
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2017, 07:25:10 AM »
Your wife really needs to handle this, so I would start the discussions with her.  I hate to say it, but it seems that by not having any consequences, she is turning out to be a self-centered human.  She's not afraid/remorseful/sorry because she doesn't have to be.  There is no reason for her to change her attitude because there is always someone there to pay for the repairs, pay for the uptick in insurance, pay for the ticket, etc., etc.  Also, having the family split makes it ripe for her to play one parent against the other, which I'm sure she has mastered by now.

Her attitude is what concerns me the most, but if bio Mom and Dad aren't willing to step-up and provide discipline and structure for fear of her running to the other parent, then this will continue (and get worse).  Bio Mom and Dad need to get on the same parenting page for the sake of this girl's future.

GuitarStv

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9354
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Car accidents and an 18 year old
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2017, 07:33:02 AM »
In your daughter's place, I wouldn't take the accidents seriously either.  She hasn't felt any impact from the damages she has caused.  The costs have been borne entirely by other people.  Your kid isn't stupid, she has just been given no reason to change her behaviour.  Driving is a privileged, not a right.  A good way to show this is to remove the privilege until your daughter's attitude improves (or at a minimum until she pays in full for the damage she has caused and the increased monthly cost of insurance).  Of course, this needs to come from a united front . . . so you and your wife need to be on the same page with this.

Mustache ride

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 41
Re: Car accidents and an 18 year old
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2017, 07:48:54 AM »
If it was my kid with that attitude after they wrecked twice they would be finding their own insurance and vehicle to drive. Can't afford insurance because you caused multiple accidents, well maybe you should have thought about that and been more careful. She is 18 years old and an adult. Why do you expect her to change if you continue to bail her out with only minimum consequences/impact to herself?

Laura33

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1471
  • Location: Mid-Atlantic
Re: Car accidents and an 18 year old
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2017, 08:01:26 AM »
1.  You are not overreacting.  Her behavior is immature.  In my world, driving is an adult privilege; if you cannot accept adult responsibilities, you do not get adult privileges.* 

2.  Unfortunately, this is your wife's battle to fight.  You need to work with her to agree to acceptable consequences.

3.  Personally, I'd focus that discussion and the consequences on the attitude vs. the accidents themselves.  Imagine how different this would feel if she had come home from that first accident and said, "OMG, I had NO idea it was that slippery, I really need to leave more distance between me and the car in front," and then come home from the second one saying, "oh man, oh man, I thought I looked, but I didn't really have a clear view around the car turning left the other way, I should have just been patient or eased my way out, or [etc.]"  That is a kid who made a mistake, realizes it's a mistake, and is trying to learn from it -- IOW, that is a kid who is on the way to being a responsible adult.  Totally different from ass-covering excuse-making.  People who are always looking for someone else to blame do not tend to live productive, happy lives -- at least, not until they move past that stage, which is more worthy of a 14-yr-old than a grown woman.  Letting your stepdaughter slide on this is not doing her any favors; it's putting short-term family harmony over her long-term need to grow up.

4.  To me, the minimum would be that she pays the increase in the insurance and figures out a way to do extra chores/whatever to work off the repair costs (I might have been more lenient on the repair costs the first time, but not after 2).  And, with that attitude, probably no access to a car until she gets that paid off.  But, again, your DW has to be the one comfortable with it.

*Heck, in my state, she would not even qualify for an unrestricted license yet -- you can get only a restricted license at 16.5, and you have to make it to 18 with no moving violations or at-fault accidents in order to qualify for the full license.  That would have solved your problem right there -- restricted = no friends in car without adult.
Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

trollwithamustache

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 299
Re: Car accidents and an 18 year old
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2017, 08:18:06 AM »
So what are the consequences? If someone pays the insurance deductible and the new higher rates and she gets to keep driving, accidents sound like a pretty sweet deal to me.

You guys are not doing her any favors.

(and as for others driving her around, they may be unsafe teen drivers, but if they have fewer accidents, they are much safer teen drivers than her current driver of herself!)

caracarn

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 816
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Car accidents and an 18 year old
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2017, 08:48:17 AM »
Your wife really needs to handle this, so I would start the discussions with her.  I hate to say it, but it seems that by not having any consequences, she is turning out to be a self-centered human.  She's not afraid/remorseful/sorry because she doesn't have to be.  There is no reason for her to change her attitude because there is always someone there to pay for the repairs, pay for the uptick in insurance, pay for the ticket, etc., etc.  Also, having the family split makes it ripe for her to play one parent against the other, which I'm sure she has mastered by now.

Her attitude is what concerns me the most, but if bio Mom and Dad aren't willing to step-up and provide discipline and structure for fear of her running to the other parent, then this will continue (and get worse).  Bio Mom and Dad need to get on the same parenting page for the sake of this girl's future.
To this and GuitarStrv she has has consequences from the first accident which happened on our watch.  She had to pay 20% of both the deductible (which cost her $100, nearly all of her savings at the time) and the insurance uptick (20% is another $5/month on top of the $25 she already pays to have insurance) so we have doled out consequences.  As I said, she just started a job after her 18th birthday, so now she has income. 

The bigger complications get into the Bio Mom and Dad, mainly the Dad.  Since this is not a divorce thread, going to try to keep the details to a minimum, but let's just say same page for those two is impossible unless we went to his and his is dangerous (literally, not figuratively).  Through counseling after the divorce and the behaviors he exhibited the best guess by my wife's counselors is he is a narcissistic sociopath.  He has not had a job in the six years we've been married and several years before that.  When he did have a job during their marriage he held nothing for more than 3 months before people got onto him.  He survives by conning women and a few other people into trickling enough money into his life to get by.  The house he lives in he's basically squatting in after being allowed to live there for free with the promise that as a "handyman" he'd fix the place up.  Been there nearly five years and the balcony railing still is busted at least three windows are knocked out with pillow stuffed in them to keep out the freezing cold in the winter, you get the picture, no repairs and it's.  The guy that owns it live across the country and from what we've gathered is an attorney who does not want to take the time to travel here and go to court and have him evicted, so it drags on.  It would not surprise me if he's not conned his way into staving off action as well.  The cars he has are mooched off other people, so it is likely the car that was wrecked is not actually his.  We're skeptical is he even had insurance, though the daughter says he's on Progressive but no idea.  He usually has 2-3 different women living with him in the house and his story throughout the years is that they work for him, but as the kids have gotten older they have started asking him questions like why his worked sleep in his bedroom.  He's in and out of court for various schemes like taking buying local eateries on false pretenses, collecting state support wrongfully etc.  We've been told several times (by other parties) he's on the verge of going to prison for this or that but he seems to weasel out of it each time.  You get the picture.  It's messed up, so getting on the same page with that is something we'd prefer no to do for, I hope, obvious reasons.  The "lessons" they get from dad as very contrary to ours on nearly all fronts.  My wife has been told by many people to write a book, but for the kids sake and desire to put the horrible marriage behind her she's refused to go there, though it comes up just as a point in conversation with her family and friends every time he does something new.  Maybe someday it will help us FIRE  :).

I will say I am surprised her dad says he'll pay the ticket, though we will see.  He's got no income, so he's going to likely sell a sob story to some new mark he finds on the street or on the internet and get the money from them and never pay them back.  Worst case, he just ignores it and his daughter is going to get sucked into it.  She mentioned some "papers" the police were asking her to sign at the scene.  She refused because she had no idea what they were and said he dad can deal with it.  The cop supposedly said she was 18 and therefore it was not up to her dad and was threatened with being taken to jail but then somehow dad showed up and it all went away.  Like I said, he is a master con artist and who know what bullshit he told to stave this off at this point.  Problem there is that daughter actually has the idea, which we had to correct last night, that the ticket is "dad's since it's his car".  We explained she was the driver and the driver is ticketed not the vehicle, but I have no doubt that crap was put in her head by daddy, so again, you can begin to see why getting on the same page with him is not an option. 

My wife did text me about an hour ago letting me know that daughter woke up in tears, said she's never going to drive again and to take her off the insurance.  Wife feels at this point the defensive b#%y attitude last night was a result of her guilt and shame.  I'm not so sure.  She's gotten to witness a regular flow of non-responsibility from her dad so it's tough to always get her to see that she need to own the problem as something that is her responsibility. 


caracarn

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 816
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Car accidents and an 18 year old
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2017, 08:53:13 AM »
1.  You are not overreacting.  Her behavior is immature.  In my world, driving is an adult privilege; if you cannot accept adult responsibilities, you do not get adult privileges.* 

2.  Unfortunately, this is your wife's battle to fight.  You need to work with her to agree to acceptable consequences.

3.  Personally, I'd focus that discussion and the consequences on the attitude vs. the accidents themselves.  Imagine how different this would feel if she had come home from that first accident and said, "OMG, I had NO idea it was that slippery, I really need to leave more distance between me and the car in front," and then come home from the second one saying, "oh man, oh man, I thought I looked, but I didn't really have a clear view around the car turning left the other way, I should have just been patient or eased my way out, or [etc.]"  That is a kid who made a mistake, realizes it's a mistake, and is trying to learn from it -- IOW, that is a kid who is on the way to being a responsible adult.  Totally different from ass-covering excuse-making.  People who are always looking for someone else to blame do not tend to live productive, happy lives -- at least, not until they move past that stage, which is more worthy of a 14-yr-old than a grown woman.  Letting your stepdaughter slide on this is not doing her any favors; it's putting short-term family harmony over her long-term need to grow up.

4.  To me, the minimum would be that she pays the increase in the insurance and figures out a way to do extra chores/whatever to work off the repair costs (I might have been more lenient on the repair costs the first time, but not after 2).  And, with that attitude, probably no access to a car until she gets that paid off.  But, again, your DW has to be the one comfortable with it.

*Heck, in my state, she would not even qualify for an unrestricted license yet -- you can get only a restricted license at 16.5, and you have to make it to 18 with no moving violations or at-fault accidents in order to qualify for the full license.  That would have solved your problem right there -- restricted = no friends in car without adult.
Where my head is at is directly in alignment with #4.  The car she wrecked is not ours, and my guess is since the airbags went off it will be totaled, as that is what tends to happen given the cost of replacing airbags.  This was by no means a new car, for even though her dad cons people out of vehicles or into paying for his vehicles, he's not that good that they by him a new BMW or something.  It is a late model Honda that we've seen there in the last few weeks so I'm sure the replacement costs is way less than repair cost.  IF it was our car and we had that control, yes, we'd certainly be having the discussion about that as we did with the first one where she was involved in paying (see my previous post).

Frankies Girl

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2506
  • Age: 117
  • Location: The laboratory
  • Typical Ghoul Next Door
Re: Car accidents and an 18 year old
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2017, 09:28:22 AM »
I am not a doctor or mental heath professional, but I have mental health issues that run in my family and seen this type of thing before, and the daughter might be displaying classic manipulation techniques in my non-professional opinion. I could be completely wrong and hope I am, but just something to consider if it hasn't already come up.

If the daughter is bio-related to the suspected malignant narcissist dad you mentioned, then there is a chance that she may also have narcissistic tendencies as well. Not trying to diagnose, but you know the dad is a con-artist that lies and manipulates, so I'd be cautious about dealing with the daughter as she may have learned/inherited some of those traits as well. Crying to manipulate, lack of empathy, and disregard of laws/consequences are all big red flags. She may need counseling if this sort of thing continues.

The current dramatic fit of "she will never drive again and take her off the insurance" may be typical teenager drama, or it may be a manipulative bid to get her mother to fix things and try to smooth over the mess by telling her that she'll take care of it, oh no honey you'll drive again and mom will protect you/bail you out of this mess since you are truly (!) showing remorse...



I would be kind, but firm about what needs to happen going forward: counseling, driver's classes, and no other teens/friends in vehicle unless accompanied by you or your wife until she's been accident and incident free for X amount of time. And any further accidents/incidences result in total loss of driving privileges. But again, the wife is the one that needs to be firm about this.

So sorry you're dealing with this mess.
I frequently have no idea what I'm talking about. Like now.

FIREd as of: March 6th, 2015!

Ting is awesome! Get $25 if you use my referral code: https://z0p1rd31m89.ting.com/

Pigeon

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 989
Re: Car accidents and an 18 year old
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2017, 10:46:09 AM »
I agree with the others that this is your wife's issue to handle, and while you might not like the bio dad for whatever reasons, he's still the dad in question as long as there is shared custody.

We have a child a couple of years older than yours.  She got a honking big speeding ticket at the beginning of the summer while driving a car we own.  Her initial reaction was to make a bunch of excuses about it.  While I was extremely irritated, I kind of think that's part human nature and part being a teenager.  We let her run on, but when she was done, we let her know that the fact is that she had a speeding ticket, and we let her work through her options verbally and decide how to approach it.  By that point, she realized that her actions produced a consequence that needed to be addressed, and she was going to be part of the resolution.

In addition to the costs associated with the ticket and insurance, there were other consequences.  We have a legal services plan associated with an employer.  Dd had to contact the plan and have a phone consultation with the lawyer.  She hated doing that.  She had to send the attorney a bunch of documentation.  She hated doing that as well.  There were potential court dates that interfered with some of her summer plans.  She hated that.  The attorney plea bargained the ticket, and while it did reduce the severity of the ticket, it was an enlightening process for dd.

Additional consequences including us explaining to her that if a second ticket occurs, her use of our vehicle will be driving to and from work, period, with no other friends allowed in the car.  She really hated that.  We  also reviewed the point system with her in some detail so that she understands how another ticket could damage her legal driving privileges.  She was surprised by that.

caracarn

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 816
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Car accidents and an 18 year old
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2017, 11:10:46 AM »
Yeah Frankies, all makes sense.

She's been in counseling right after her parents divorced.  She does not tend to be too supportive of her dad (her typical introduction to friends when they are going to meet her dad is to let them know he's "brain damaged").  I appreciate the well wishes/sorry for dealing with this but for us it's old hat.  Was a massive topic of discussion with my wife and I as we were dating so it has not hit me by surprise, but as with anything dealing with the day-to-day of something is different than the hypothetical/historical. 

The guy every kind of abusive possible to my wife in their marriage and it took her two years of counseling herself to become "human" again in her description because she was so broken when she came out of that hell.  She was diagnosed with PTSD herself.  She thanks God every day she was able to get out.  So we're pretty aware of things and are usually careful to be aware anything can be a ploy.  I do want to be sure I'm not portraying my wife as coddling of this behavior.  She does a great job of trying to make sure boundaries are firm and certainly we have punished the daughter for abuses of driving such as going places without permission or getting home after curfew with various no car for a week and such.  We've got a MotoSafety tracking device on the car and all the kids know it (again not the car in question in this accident, that's not our car) and part of the reason is because we want to deal with the dad directly if things come up.  Since she started driving he's already pressed the limits having her come get him and run errands like getting groceries in the winter because he had no vehicle.  That resulted in her being warned that if it happened again she'd be grounded and me calling her dad and making crystal clear to him that if he needs a ride somewhere he is welcome to call my wife or I and if we are willing to help we will, but that it is not his daughter's burden nor do we want him in any of our vehicles.  Magically, he never called.  My personal assessment of the guy is he's your typical bully.  He takes advantage of those weaker than him and those he can fool, but if you stand up to him and he has no power over you he's a coward.  Sadly however, he has power of various sorts over his kids and I do what I can to give them cover when possible.

So all this to say that it is a balancing act.  She's a very responsible and good kid in most cases, so this behavior for the accidents is really out character.  When she gets grounded from the car there is no typical teenage whining or drama about how her life is over, she just stoically goes along and simply asks as it nears the end to be sure she had the timing right.  She waited to get a job until this point because she was worried about how to get there from dad's because she knows he can't be counted on for anything and now that the car he just gained is totaled we'll have some fall out we need to figure from that but she already had her availability limited on the days of the week she is always there to non-working days so it is just one day and then the weekends that would normally be his that we may need to go pick her up and get her to work, but my wife and I knew this was a likely possibility as we expected he'd lose the car eventually (he literally does zero maintenance, not even oil changes so any car he gets never lasts more than a year before it stops running) so we've got transportation (that we have to pay) to cover when we are at work so I certainly hope he comes up with a solution on his end.  Part of his image to the public that he's a successful multi-millionaire who's just down on his luck and lost his fortune and just needs you to fund his next movie idea, or coffee shop or whatever scheme he thinks will work on you.  Sometimes her gets $50, sometimes he gets someone to give them their whole retirement account of $100K to invest (he was dumb enough to put some things in writing on that one and that is the current, probably empty promise running through the court system, that prosecutors have told us will likely land him in jail but that was supposed so happen at the start of the summer and yet he's still free and clear) so depending on how much his current flock of women can be milked for he may but on a good show and get a rental or something.  I will say it is strangely fascinating to be this close to one of these people and get glimpses into how they operate.  It's amazing how many people keep coming back and let him use their credit card to charge this months phone bill over and over even though he never really pays the back.  It's the typical pepper his story with just enough truth that is seems plausible.  He just needs the car fixed and then he can get to that meeting next week that will net him $500K and he can pay you back or if he loses his cell phone service he can't take care of his kids so he plays the sympathy card with the ladies a lot.  It's scary how the gullible and trusting can be manipulated into funding a man's life, albeit not grandly, but still enough to survive for years and years without working and on public assistance.  When court happens he represents himself so he has no legal fees, but he also makes some really dumb mistakes, but he seems to always know just how far he can go with the con to not cross the legal line that gets him in hot water that he can't get out off. 

We'll see how this plays out over the next few days and weeks.

caracarn

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 816
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Car accidents and an 18 year old
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2017, 11:19:52 AM »
I agree with the others that this is your wife's issue to handle, and while you might not like the bio dad for whatever reasons, he's still the dad in question as long as there is shared custody.

We have a child a couple of years older than yours.  She got a honking big speeding ticket at the beginning of the summer while driving a car we own.  Her initial reaction was to make a bunch of excuses about it.  While I was extremely irritated, I kind of think that's part human nature and part being a teenager.  We let her run on, but when she was done, we let her know that the fact is that she had a speeding ticket, and we let her work through her options verbally and decide how to approach it.  By that point, she realized that her actions produced a consequence that needed to be addressed, and she was going to be part of the resolution.

In addition to the costs associated with the ticket and insurance, there were other consequences.  We have a legal services plan associated with an employer.  Dd had to contact the plan and have a phone consultation with the lawyer.  She hated doing that.  She had to send the attorney a bunch of documentation.  She hated doing that as well.  There were potential court dates that interfered with some of her summer plans.  She hated that.  The attorney plea bargained the ticket, and while it did reduce the severity of the ticket, it was an enlightening process for dd.

Additional consequences including us explaining to her that if a second ticket occurs, her use of our vehicle will be driving to and from work, period, with no other friends allowed in the car.  She really hated that.  We  also reviewed the point system with her in some detail so that she understands how another ticket could damage her legal driving privileges.  She was surprised by that.
See above for just a small slice of why her bio dad is a problem.

We did have a lot of the similar conversation with her.  She was surprised that while the previous ticket she had from the first accident was gone (her court appearance she was put on six months probation and then it was not on her record) that that did not mean she had a clean bill with insurance.  We explained they still knew she had an accident, and that having two so close together would be another issue with insurance company and that what the court decided has little to do with what insurance looks at. 

We also explained that she is at risk now of losing her license entirely due to the points system especially since it takes three years to fall off, so that any wiggle room is now gone.  It literally will be three strikes and you're out. 

She was freaked out with the whole court process the first time, super nervous and hated it. 

This is all why her reaction last night was so surprising other than she had just come from psychopath making her think everything was fine.  They do tend to need a couple hours to get out of mind control mode over there and we hit her as soon as she came in the door. 

The only other "difference" in our household that I will address as it has come up repeatedly, is that my wife and I work very hard to not make discipline and other things a "your kid, my kid" thing.  We parent them as if they are all our kids, so we each discipline any of the kids.  That's not to say my wife and I do not need to be on the same page on this.  We certainly will talk through all these points presented and apply what we agree is best with what we see, but it's not just my wife's to handle. 

GizmoTX

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1155
Re: Car accidents and an 18 year old
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2017, 12:14:30 PM »
OP, how long will DD be living with you?

caracarn

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 816
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Car accidents and an 18 year old
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2017, 12:25:29 PM »
OP, how long will DD be living with you?
Ah, the $64,000 question......

She's 18 so no longer bound by any custody order, so at this point she could just tell us tomorrow that she hates us all and be gone.

Assuming that does not happen, she has said she enjoys time by us (we do have reliable wireless, actually regularly have a car she can use and other things that teenagers need/enjoy).  This is senior year in high school that has just started for her.  For college she plans to go to the community college for all four years as we have an extension that lets her get the business degree she wants from a school like Ohio State or Kent without incurring the extra costs, so assuming that does not change she can be around for the next five years.

LiveLean

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 609
  • Location: Central Florida
    • ToLiveLean
Re: Car accidents and an 18 year old
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2017, 01:43:21 PM »
OP, how long will DD be living with you?
Ah, the $64,000 question......

She's 18 so no longer bound by any custody order, so at this point she could just tell us tomorrow that she hates us all and be gone.

Assuming that does not happen, she has said she enjoys time by us (we do have reliable wireless, actually regularly have a car she can use and other things that teenagers need/enjoy).  This is senior year in high school that has just started for her.  For college she plans to go to the community college for all four years as we have an extension that lets her get the business degree she wants from a school like Ohio State or Kent without incurring the extra costs, so assuming that does not change she can be around for the next five years.

Ding, ding. Here's the problem. Stepdaughter is already 18 and has just started her senior year of high school. Up until 20 years ago, she would be a high school graduate. Instead, she's one of the oldest in her class. She thinks she's an adult - and technically is - but thinks she has rights as an adult even though she's still in high school living under your and wife's roof. A generation ago, most 18-year-olds were high school graduates.

Bigger elephant in the living room issue, one you need to spend the next 20 minutes of your life examining, is how much umbrella liability insurance you have. Too much nickel-and-dime discussion on MMM boards about who is driving what cars and deductibles. Car accidents are less about cars than they are about liability and damages. This baby girl is going to kill or seriously injure someone while driving one of your cars, living in your house, and under your policy. Therefore, your assets are on the line. If you don't have at least a $2 million umbrella, you should.

I'd also bet my heavily-insured home that baby girl is driving while texting and otherwise using her phone.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 01:47:11 PM by LiveLean »
Living lean at www.tolivelean.com

galliver

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1565
Re: Car accidents and an 18 year old
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2017, 02:43:00 PM »
OP, your daughter's reaction could be manipulative, sure, but it also sounds exactly right for a teenager/young adult expecting someone to come down hard on them and defending themselves, while underneath struggling with the trauma and the consequences (and that reaction only coming out later when they don't feel "under fire"). I do understand, particularly given the situation with bio-dad, the need to create a structured environment where you enforce accountability and consequences...but I think it's important to ask, perhaps just yourself or perhaps even your daughter, if she *knows* you are actually on her side? (You *are*, right?) This is not to say that you should brush things under the rug and make them go away because she cried and possibly showed remorse, but I think you and your wife will strengthen your relationship with her by helping her through this intellectually and emotionally (i.e. sitting down with her to figure out a plan) rather than leaving her to flounder in the deep end so that she can learn a lesson from the struggle. You are rapidly leaving (if not past) the time when you can afford to be punitive rather than influential in how you affect her behavior, so you want to be allies, not adversaries if you want her to listen to you going forward.

With respect to driving, one of the most impactful things someone's ever told me (I think my stepdad, but possibly my uncle or even my driver's ed teacher...) is that no matter what insurance and courts decide, in *most* cases there is something both parties could have done differently to avoid a collision. Your job as a driver isn't just to  follow the rules and signage, it's also to maintain awareness and compensate for the maniacs that don't, because it's your life and your property (car) on the line. Which basically amounts to an endorsement of defensive driving, which sounds like a good idea in this situation. (And yes, I realize things do happen when someone is standing still and a drunk driver barrels into them, but I think what the speaker was trying to convey to me was that you can prepare for the unexpected with good habits and minimize your risk, even where something would not be considered "your fault").

caracarn

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 816
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Car accidents and an 18 year old
« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2017, 03:09:20 PM »
OP, how long will DD be living with you?
Ah, the $64,000 question......

She's 18 so no longer bound by any custody order, so at this point she could just tell us tomorrow that she hates us all and be gone.

Assuming that does not happen, she has said she enjoys time by us (we do have reliable wireless, actually regularly have a car she can use and other things that teenagers need/enjoy).  This is senior year in high school that has just started for her.  For college she plans to go to the community college for all four years as we have an extension that lets her get the business degree she wants from a school like Ohio State or Kent without incurring the extra costs, so assuming that does not change she can be around for the next five years.

Ding, ding. Here's the problem. Stepdaughter is already 18 and has just started her senior year of high school. Up until 20 years ago, she would be a high school graduate. Instead, she's one of the oldest in her class. She thinks she's an adult - and technically is - but thinks she has rights as an adult even though she's still in high school living under your and wife's roof. A generation ago, most 18-year-olds were high school graduates.

Bigger elephant in the living room issue, one you need to spend the next 20 minutes of your life examining, is how much umbrella liability insurance you have. Too much nickel-and-dime discussion on MMM boards about who is driving what cars and deductibles. Car accidents are less about cars than they are about liability and damages. This baby girl is going to kill or seriously injure someone while driving one of your cars, living in your house, and under your policy. Therefore, your assets are on the line. If you don't have at least a $2 million umbrella, you should.

I'd also bet my heavily-insured home that baby girl is driving while texting and otherwise using her phone.
Yes we have $1 million umbrella. 

I'm not sure the picture is as grim as you paint.  If she was my older daughter who's 19, I'd say it was.  She was out of high school just after she turned 18 but a complete hellion through high school and totally rebellious.  She moved out to my ex's just before she turned 18 (about half a year before graduating) and is now living on her own after stopping to go to college.  She refused any advice at all and every conversation was a screaming fest.  This child is not at all that way.  As I said, she's a good kid and her reaction to this was out of character. 

caracarn

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 816
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Car accidents and an 18 year old
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2017, 03:10:17 PM »
OP, your daughter's reaction could be manipulative, sure, but it also sounds exactly right for a teenager/young adult expecting someone to come down hard on them and defending themselves, while underneath struggling with the trauma and the consequences (and that reaction only coming out later when they don't feel "under fire"). I do understand, particularly given the situation with bio-dad, the need to create a structured environment where you enforce accountability and consequences...but I think it's important to ask, perhaps just yourself or perhaps even your daughter, if she *knows* you are actually on her side? (You *are*, right?) This is not to say that you should brush things under the rug and make them go away because she cried and possibly showed remorse, but I think you and your wife will strengthen your relationship with her by helping her through this intellectually and emotionally (i.e. sitting down with her to figure out a plan) rather than leaving her to flounder in the deep end so that she can learn a lesson from the struggle. You are rapidly leaving (if not past) the time when you can afford to be punitive rather than influential in how you affect her behavior, so you want to be allies, not adversaries if you want her to listen to you going forward.

With respect to driving, one of the most impactful things someone's ever told me (I think my stepdad, but possibly my uncle or even my driver's ed teacher...) is that no matter what insurance and courts decide, in *most* cases there is something both parties could have done differently to avoid a collision. Your job as a driver isn't just to  follow the rules and signage, it's also to maintain awareness and compensate for the maniacs that don't, because it's your life and your property (car) on the line. Which basically amounts to an endorsement of defensive driving, which sounds like a good idea in this situation. (And yes, I realize things do happen when someone is standing still and a drunk driver barrels into them, but I think what the speaker was trying to convey to me was that you can prepare for the unexpected with good habits and minimize your risk, even where something would not be considered "your fault").
I did speak with her about defensive driving and she has to compensate for other actions (like the speeding of the other car by waiting for example).

KBecks

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 928
Re: Car accidents and an 18 year old
« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2017, 03:30:03 PM »
When I was in my early 20's I was an inattentive driver and had a few accidents.  Overall it sucks.   Just wanted to say that this happens, and the important thing is that your daughter needs to learn to drive better.  I probably have ADHD, my oldest son has ADHD, and teaching my 3 kids to drive safely and well is going to be a big priority around our house, because it's so important.

I agree with the person who suggested she needs more practice driving, with an adult in the car coaching her, as if she were working under a leaner's permit.  Take her out driving, aim for a goal of a certain # of hours of practice driving, preferably soon and frequent whenever you have the time.  You have to be proactive in helping her understand what and where to look.  Driving is a complicated skill and it requires focus, it also takes practice.

I also agree with sending her to remedial driving school, in addition to hands on practice.  When she gets more supervised experience, it will help her get a feel for driving better.   You should also take her out in the rain, snow and at night, all supervised.  Take her in unfamiliar neighborhoods and eventually, construction zones, very busy downtown and freeway traffic.  Could you get in 100 hours of supervised driving in with her in the next month or two?

I would discontinue letting her drive anyone else in the car.  She's a dangerous driver as it stands.  Can you make arrangements for the students to take the bus?   I know it's a PITA, but she is not trustworthy as a driver until you go practice driving  with her and she consistently demonstrates skills, attentiveness and good judgement as a driver.

I would restrict driving to work only. 

You can be compassionate and tough at the same time.   Teenagers say stupid shit.  Her bullshit about being glad she hit the other lady is wrong, morally wrong.  But she's a teenager and it's just dumb talk.  You should correct her immediately when you hear garbage like that. 

If you take time to help her learn to drive better, that is going to move you both towards the goal of having a safer driver and that's good for her and good for you.  So buckle up.  You must explain that this is for her safety and it's an imporant life skill and you are going to teach her better because you love her and because she needs to drive better.   Set up driving sessions daily, or 2x a week or 3x a week and make it a priority to teach this young lady better life skills while you still have the opportunity to help her.

This is a problem of lack of skill and she needs help to fix it.

Good luck! 
« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 03:35:52 PM by KBecks »