By on May 5, 2015

Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen. He’s the youngest competitor to ever pilot a Formula 1 car around a track. At the age of 17, the young Dutchman would likely have a restricted driving licence in many countries. But, here he is, racing wheel to wheel with World Champions as he waves his FIA Super Licence in the air.

Sexist comments about women being too scared to drive in competitive racing aside, Verstappen has made a phenomenal debut in the top rung of motorsports. That should be expected. He’s been driving karts since the age of four and a half. He’s also likely been driving road cars long before he could do so legally, something a lot of us car folk probably have in common.

When I was just a sprout, my father would sometimes take me with him to work. This included long drives down logging roads to check out a stand of trees before cultivation. Being in the forestry industry takes you far away from the nearest threat of flashing cherries. It was here, at the age of eight, I was finally allowed to drive a life-sized car without sitting on someone’s lap.

That very brief experience was limited to learning how to operate a clutch without stalling, shift without grinding and also keep my eyes on the road while simultaneously performing all these other new actions my brain was attempting to comprehend. It also planted the seed for my love of driving. (Thanks Dad.)

But, if a parent did that nowadays, they’d likely get a stern talking to from the police by way of the local Helicopter Mom Association (a.k.a. PTA). Hell, you can’t even leave your child in a park unattended anymore because God forbid someone will repeatedly stab Timmy with a prison shank carved out of iPods or some other such nonsense. Put Timmy behind the wheel? Nuclear winter.

And yet I’m still here.

With that in mind, what age should a tyke be put behind the wheel – you know, for safety?

 

 

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66 Comments on “QOTD: At What Age Should You Let Your Kid Drive?...”


  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    As soon as they’re physically large enough to operate all the controls.

    “Safety” advocates complain that people aren’t good drivers. Fine, I agree. It seems to me that in order to make them good drivers, instruction should begin as soon as possible.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    No need to physically put them behind the wheel of a real car. My Xbox wheel has an honest to god shifter and clutch pedal. Just get Forza Horizon, put em behind the wheel of a Civic or something and let em learn everything from the basics to the limits. Then when they are old enough to get permits or whatever you can teach them about moving in actual traffic. I don’t think there’s any value in putting an 8 year old behind the wheel of a car.

    • 0 avatar
      319583076

      Agreed. I attended a conference that addressed how technology will change our airports and air traffic. The keynote speaker started by mentioning that young pilots today already know how to fly – they’ve spent countless hours playing flight sims of one sort or another – turning them into certified pilots was a matter of learning procedures.

      I see driving simulators as essentially equivalent.

  • avatar

    Few youngsters that cool. So I wouldn’t change the age requirement. Btw, Max Verstappen would have scored more points if it wasn’t for that damned Renault engine.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Whenever they’re ready really. Obviously turning them loose on public roads before having a license is looking for trouble, but there’s other venues where kids can get experience.

    When I was young and attending the drag strip on the weekends with my dad and uncle, IHRA had a special class for kids 13-16 where they could bracket race street cars in the 1/8th mile provided a licensed adult was ridign shotgun. The cars had to be slow (10 or 11 sec in the 1/8th IIRC) but it wa a great way to expose unlicensed kids to driving and competition.

    I remember my dad teaching me how to drive his manual transmission 5.0 Mustang on the airport ramp where he worked and even driving it around the nearby taxiways. That was fun. Would probably provoke an armed response these days haha.

  • avatar
    jrmason

    I learned how to drive on my grandparents ranch in rural Wyoming at the age of 13 in an old beat up Chevy pick up with a dicey 5 speed. I had 2 days of practicing with the clutch going back and forth between he fields during hay season before he hitched me to my first wagon. I had to crawl up out of the river bottom on a narrow one lane tractor path with virtually no edge. 4 low 2nd gear, if you missed a shift or stalled the truck you were in real trouble. I remember being absolutely terrified every time I went up and down that path. I learned a lot about driving on that ranch and by the time I took my drivers exam I whipped through it with no troubles. In dads 3/4 ton GMC to boot.

    When my boys get old enough to be able to safely touch the pedals and see over the wheel, they’ll be driving back roads. Fortunately we are so rural there is hardly any traffic. You’ve got to watch for wildlife and loose cattle more often than you do vehicles.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Teenage drivers are responsible for a considerable chunk of the US fatality rate, and the immaturity that is common to the age group explains much of the reason. They should be driving less, not more.

    • 0 avatar
      319583076

      Driving is a skill, proficiency at any skill is acquired through practice. Your solution is simply translating the age threshold at which the risk occurs, it is not addressing the risk itself.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        No, research finds that novice older drivers are safer than their younger counterparts.

        Young drivers crash and kill more because of their lack of fear of death and emotional immaturity. Which is another way of saying something that parents already know: Teenagers are stupid.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      I think kids need an outlet. I was a real boneheaded driver in my teens/early 20s. Looking back, regular track days or karting or something probably would have satiated my need for speed. Driving simulators are pretty damn good too. Being able to explore the limits of traction safely is huge and has a lot of practical turnover.

      And yea, kids need to learn to drive some time. Better when their minds are plastic and able to learn faster than when they are older.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        No, kids don’t need to learn how to drive. Adults do.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          Technology has created ways to teach kids how to drive without putting them in danger. The earlier those skills are embedded in their brains the better.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Teens are immature by nature. Technology can’t fix that.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            Technology can teach those teens to drive without them physically being on the road. I hope you are not arguing that teens shouldn’t even be allowed to drive on simulators.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I realize you are suggesting a sit in simulator, but I fear immature teens would simply equate it to a video game (which it kind of is). People need real time experience to acquiescence themselves, I think the question simply becomes how to deliver that while limiting the overall risk the teens pose as they learn.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Driver training is useful for showing people the mechanics of operating the equipment, such as how to steer and use the brakes.

            Driver training is not useful for teaching people how to behave or to control their impulses. Giving them even more skills training has the result of promoting over confidence, which increases risk taking, which increases crash risk. In other words, it does not help and can make things worse.

            The simulator may be helpful for imparting the basics, but don’t expect it to produce risk-averse drivers. Risk aversion generally comes with age, but there isn’t a reliable way to teach it and make it stick.

          • 0 avatar
            zamoti

            I don’t normally agree with what PCH has to say, but in this case I had thought the same thing before I even got to his comments.
            I agree that a certain emotional intelligence/maturity should be reached before you put any human behind the wheel. Kids don’t have a well-developed sense of empathy until age six; hell many adults don’t have a sense of empathy–well ever!
            My point is that there isn’t an age level, it’s a development milestone. Without empathy and the ability to consider the consequences of one’s own actions, being able to responsibly pilot a car isn’t a possibility in my eyes.
            I mean, just this morning I did not exercise good judgement in a situation and comported myself in a fashion that would lead others to (correctly) accuse me of being a horse’s ass behind the wheel–and I’m old(ish)!
            The ability to successfully operate a car is important, but having the emotional maturity to understand what is at stake when you screw up is critical.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Driving on the street is a social skill, not a complex technical skill that is difficult to master. The most important aspect of street driving is playing nicely with others, which reduces crash risk and severity.

        • 0 avatar
          George B

          In rural areas teens really do need to know how to drive. Today we basically have two nations sharing one territory. The rural nation is full of people who learn to drive as teens and make adult decisions like joining the military by 17 or 18. The city nation is full of people who remain children through about 25.

          • 0 avatar
            djoelt1

            Maybe next time a president gins up a recreational war in Iraq, the rural folk joining the army at 17 and 18 can reflect a moment and choose to do something else.

    • 0 avatar
      Duaney

      It really depends on the individual. Some 12 year old’s are better drivers than most adults.

  • avatar
    CaptainObvious

    And as the picture shows – put down the phone!!

  • avatar
    raph

    As a licensed driver I’ve always thought 18 was a good age and around 16 with a licensed adult riding shotgun.

    I think my biggest problem with the overall licensing program in the US isn’t really age but the lack of instruction, especially behind the wheel. It all seems geared toward passing the test with little value placed on operating a vehicle correctly including setting the vehicle up to operate it.

  • avatar
    MidLifeCelica

    It depends on the child and their eagerness and willingness to learn and follow rules. My first “driving” experience was at the tender age of 6, when I got into the car and released the parking brake, sending it rolling down the driveway, across the road, and onto our neighbor’s yard. That didn’t bode well for future young driving, but somehow I managed to convince my uncle to let me drive his smallest tractor around the farmyard whenever we visited. Best time ever! Must have wasted 100 gallons of gas over the years. I have some old 16mm film moved to DVD of that, and people are always shocked that this child who could barely see over the steering wheel was driving unattended. But I never hit anything or even had a close call. Then I moved up to the Massey-Ferguson, and was towing the baler through his fields at 10. Made my cousin happy – he could take off to town in his ’76 Vette and hang out with his friends instead of working, since that was his job normally. I never got to drive the giant Case tractor, or the combine, but I sure tried to talk him into it.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      In my 15-ish years I’ve been driving things on the farm, there are three things I’m not allowed to do–planting/drilling, applying anhydrous ammonia, and spraying, and one thing I’ve never done but could if I asked–combining. There’s little to no room for error in any of those things, unlike tillage, which is basically digging everything up. I’m good at that. Nice straight-ish lines.

  • avatar

    They should be trained to operate a motor vehicle as soon as they legally can. The more time behind the wheel, the better they’ll ultimately be able to handle the vehicle over the longer period of time. It’s called PRACTICE.

    I started driving in a 1993 Mercury Cougar. Graduated to a Ford Expedition 2002, then a 2003 Escalade EXT, then nothing but Chrysler 300’s and SRT vehicles.

    I have a 5-year Good Driver discount (believe it or not)

    I may speed most of the time, but only to get away from slow, inefficient drivers.

  • avatar
    carr1on

    This is an area where rural kids have a great start over city and urban kids. I grew up in a small rural town in Oklahoma. We could drive at 14 with a farm permit.

    I learned on my dad’s 1929 Model A truck. H pattern shifter. Slow as molasses and practically indestructable. From there we moved up to old Ford farm trucks.

    I now live in Dallas and my kid will have to rely on Drivers Ed for most of his practice.

  • avatar
    turf3

    From the standpoint of learning the skills of driving, earlier exposure is better. At 13-14-15 years of age the brain and motor skills are still growing and learning. There are a lot of inputs coming to a driver from every direction. The earlier their brain and body get accustomed to this, the better driver they will be. Just look at how people who immigrated to the USA as adults from countries where they don’t drive, drive once they are here. They are adults, their judgement and safety-consciousness are good, but the overall coordination and smoothness just aren’t there. (IME)

    On the other hand, as far as judgement and driving on public roads, I have real serious concerns about 16 year olds on the road. I should not have been driving at 16. Not because of my skill level, but because I had REALLY BAD judgement. Pound 6 beers and stuff 8 other guys into the convertible, and go looking for mailboxes to knock over? What could possibly go wrong?

    I don’t know how to reconcile the need to develop hand-eye coordination and skill at a complex physical activity, with the fact that driving also carries an inherent very high risk of property damage and personnel injury, especially when done by immature teenagers.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      The data is pretty clear that motor skills don’t save lives. Crashes occur far more often because of what drivers choose to do than because of a failure to react.

      Graduated licensing programs help because they reduce the odds of young drivers from acting out while they acquire experience. Raising the driving age and using an L-plate system similar to the UK and elsewhere would help even more.

      • 0 avatar
        OneAlpha

        “…motor skills don’t save lives.”

        Yeah, ever wonder why Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps pilots spend so much time training to fly their fighters, and why the Army spends so much effort training soldiers to fight land battles?

        Because motor skills most certainly DO save lives, and often times vehicles.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          If you are under the impression that the skills needed to drive a Nissan Versa on a city street are comparable to landing a fighter plane on an aircraft carrier, then I would kindly request that you burn your license and surrender your car keys to the closest law enforcement officer.

          • 0 avatar
            gearhead77

            I think the point 1A was making is that motor skills are important in learning a repetitive task like driving or flying. Having the basic motor skills understood makes it much easier to focus on whatever else you need to focus on.

            Call it thinking ahead or situational awareness,etc. it improves greatly when you don’t have to think about the basics.

    • 0 avatar
      kmoney

      “I have real serious concerns about 16 year olds on the road. I should not have been driving at 16. Not because of my skill level, but because I had REALLY BAD judgement”

      Yeah pretty much this. I probably fell into the same trap, and so did many of my friends and high-school peers. The environment is completely different when you first get your licence, and usually consists of a bunch being surrounded by a bunch of morons egging you on do to stupid things. One of the restrictions that came in to our GLP (which has been quite effective) was that you could only have 1 passenger for the first 18 months of driving.

      It’s not the physical act of driving the car that is hard, but developing the intuition for where hazards are going to be and having attention, caution and responsibility while on the road.

      If you want to take the military example further, look at survival rates in actual combat. All the training in the world is great, but the odds of dying are still massively front loaded — i.e., if you live through the early parts of your deployment your odds of surviving overall go up exponentially. What do you think they are learning in those early days?

  • avatar
    Waftable Torque aka Daniel Ho

    Certain things require practice, regardless of whether you’re a teenager or now.

    After you get your license, you spend the first year staring at the road to keep the car in its lane, while you use peripheral vision to see what’s in front of you.

    By the second year of driving, your eyeballs are firmly locked on the bumper of the car ahead of you, still using peripheral vision for situational awareness.

    By the third year, you are actually scanning the road ahead of you looking at traffic lights and intersections, and use peripheral vision to keep your car in its lane.

    By your tenth year, you’ve firmly mastered onroad texting on your phone, eating a burger with your other hand, and telling your kids to shut up.

  • avatar
    Mr. Orange

    I started at 9. Driving my pops large varied assortments of running and rusty Ford F100 Rangers on the backroads of rural TN. One of which had a 3 on the tree, I never drove that one.

    • 0 avatar
      heycarp

      Wife & I went to an outlaw sprint car race in Ocala Fla. in Feb..
      The track was Bubba Raceway . Announcer was Joe dirt. You can’t make this stuff up. Bubba the love sponge put his 13 yr. son in a 900hp 1200lb open wheel race car. This is way beyond F1. When the kid timetrialed I noticed the car blubbering somewhat. The dad , not wanting to kill his boy had swapped some plug wire positions so the youngster would survive. The boy made the race,

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    My parents didn’t let me take the wheel of an actual car until age 15, and that was for practice leading up to driver’s ed and eventually acquiring my license.

    However I had been piloting lawn and garden tractors around my parents three acre property since age 12. There were plenty of obstacles to worry about and my father was meticulous about how he wanted his lawn to look. This learned me the basics of stopping, steering, and maneuvering at a much lower speed.

    My cousins grew up on an active farm and Ohio Law said there was no problem with them driving field tractors on the road after age 12. They learned much by the time they were 16.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Nothing like being 15 and practing driving in some empty Midwestern parking lot. The burnt orange Mercury Villager was my chariot.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        I split time between an Iron Duke powered Celebrity and early 80s B-body wagons painted in John Deere livery provided by my Dad’s employer. It is silly easy to bury the needle on a 305 powered B-body, and the cars are eerily quiet and stable in excess of 85 mph.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    I shouldn’t have been allowed to drive until 35ish. Total lack of maturity behind the wheel. I crashed my 1st car at 2. Terrible Twos. It was a pickup actually. Auto trans and left running with my sister and I while parked at the curb. My parents stopped at a house and went inside for a quick second so they left it running.

    I ‘drove’ it down the street at an idle, and bumped into a Bug. No one hurt except my 4 yo sister was hysterical.

  • avatar
    RonaldPottol

    Speaking as someone who was a driving instructor almost 30 years ago, 15 1/2 seems about right. Younger, and they seem to have too hard a time with all the multi tasking required. Sure, younger can turn a hot lap, but can they juggle everything you need to while driving in traffic? Not so much.

    I would say we need to lower or remove the drinking age, it would be good if they were not experimenting with booze while still really new drivers.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Last time I checked, having a lower drinking age did just that (SD especially, based off first and secondhand accounts from my parents) while also killing young brain cells and setting a larger percentage of people down the road to alcoholism.

  • avatar
    DCicch

    My dad used to go into work on Sundays and would let us drive a few laps around the empty office complex parking lot. I was 11 the first time, and was gradually allowed to stray further until I drove all the way home (on the interstate) at 15. From then on I was occasionally his late night DD.

    When I started driver’s ed at 16 the instructor was surprised and asked how long I’d been driving- I gave the not-quite-whole answer that I’d “had my learner’s permit for two months.”

    I’ve been ticket and accident free to this day, and definitely credit that partially to the early exposure. If you have access to a (theoretically) controlled environment, I see no reason not to teach kids early.

  • avatar

    The first thing I drove was a motorcycle with a sidecar. I was either 10 or 12 at the time, I don’t recall. I do remember though that for a long time I was unable to reach the shift pedal and cruised in 1st gear.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    It really does depend on the Child in question ~

    I began driving on the Farm like many others , by 14 I lived in Town and bought my own car , in retrospect it was not only foolish & stupid , I could have _KILLED_ innocents not to mention my own stupid assed self .

    Some how I managed to survive with very little help from anyone .

    Prolly because I never allowed alcohol in my cars/trucks .

    I taught my Son how to drive when he was 11 , I’d tried earlier when he was 8 in my ’46 Chevy but he was just too excitable and made serious errors so I pushed it back a few more years .

    When he was 12 his Mother & Step Father took him to San Fransisco on vacation , they were terrified of the hills and got tuckered out so he drove them both home to Los Angeles as they snoozed .

    When he began the 9th Grade I decided to teach him Motorcycling skills and responsibility , got him a Honda CT90 with the semi-automatic clutch , all fixed up nicely , registered to him and so on , told him : you can ride this to High School every day wearing full gear and a back pack , keep your mouth shut and have fun whilst learning .

    Screw it up or tell anyone and they’ll take the Moto away and you’ll be riding the Ghetto Bus from our house to school every day for FOUR YEARS ~ no rides from me .

    This prompted him to learn very well , when he was old enough to apply for a Motocycle Learner’s permit , I sent him to Iron Horse Motocycle Training and he’s now a faster , better and safer driver of anything than I ever was .

    He knew my foot would go in his @$$ if he did anything stupid ~ I always gave him responsibility beyond his age but with limits and guidance .

    He’s now a competitive racer both cars and Motos .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    ktm_525

    Every kid by 10 should own a dirt bike. Full stop.

    • 0 avatar
      jrmason

      Mine were 4 when they got ther first motor bikes. I adjusted the throttle stop half way and they were clutch less bikes but had 4 speed manual gear boxes. No training wheels, they crashed a few times but learned quickly. By 7-8 they were both on 80s with clutches. At 11 my oldest is more competent on 2 wheels than most adults. He’s also piloted grandma and grandpas side by side on a 20+ mile loop around their cabin in the mountains on numerous occasions (with an adult in the passenger seat). He was taught at an early age to be responsible and I’ll have no problem throwing him the keys for an occasional cruise on the rural back roads before he’s 16.

  • avatar
    Timothy

    Started driving tractors and ATV’s when I was 12 or so. First time in a proper car was late in my 13th year. Dad popped the Toyota Truck into 4 low and let me row the gears all over the back lawn. Never got above 15mph but it was a very easy way to learn the mysteries of the manual transmission.

    I’m of the mindset that more experience = a more capable driver. My parents held the same beliefs. I got my permit the day I turned 15 and from that point forward I drove everywhere we went in all types of inclement weather (which, being northern Vermont there was quite a lot of). The result was I had several thousand miles of real world experience when a year later I was turned loose on my own.

    There were the inevitable scrapes and dents and I did get the damn thing stuck in a few corn fields but I managed to keep it between the ditches save for one intentional diversion. It was either ditch the car or get hit head on by a F150.

    The death of a cousin in a car wreck a few years prior getting my license always served as a reminder that with terrible decisions come terrible, heartbreaking consequences.

  • avatar
    George B

    Based on nieces and nephews, I’d allow a child as young as 12 to drive a little on parking lots and rural roads. My 13 year old niece is tall for her age and physically and mentally capable of easy driving out in the country. My 11 year old nephew, on the other hand, isn’t tall enough to safely operate the controls and is still a little immature.

    My girlfriend’s 16 year old daughter is a very good driver. I’d trust her to drive my newish car in moderate traffic. Her 15 year old sister is just starting drivers ed. I’d let her drive my old car on parking lots and empty roads. The younger daughter makes aggressive use of both sides of the road plus sidewalks when playing video games and I’m a little scared of how she’ll drive in real life.

  • avatar
    fincar1

    We were lucky enough to have a considerable network of very lightly traveled gravel roads close to the house, so at 12 or 13 we started to get our daughter acquainted with the mechanics of steering, starting and stopping our 5-speed Accord. It wasn’t long before she also got good enough to be quite competent on untrafficked paved roads. I remember the day when she did her first long stint of driving on a serious gravel backroad in the foothills of the Olympics – about twenty miles of quite rugged terrain, meeting two or three cars the entire way, and remember her feeling of accomplishment.

    She didn’t get turned loose in traffic until driving school and her learner’s permit, but by that time she was thoroughly familiar with the mechanics and could concentrate on the gettiing-along-with-others aspects of driving.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    ” The city nation is full of people who remain children through about 25.”

    ~ To be fair , many of them become internet trolls who spout the most egregious crap I’ve ever heard .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    Ron B.

    I learned how to drive young, and was driving to school on occasion at 12. I wasn’t the only one either. In New Zealand in those days we could get a full license at 15 and that included heavy truck licenses .I think in Some US states it was as young as 13.

  • avatar
    Charliej

    My grandfather taught me to drive in a 1949 Chevy pickup. We lived on a farm and there were plenty of places for me to practice. Not to mention all of the local dirt roads with almost zero traffic. I started my son on a Honda QA-50 at age four. He rode with me in the woods for many years. He already knew how to drive when I taught how to really drive in a Honda CRX. He is 44 now and has never had a wreck on the road. It has been 50 years since I was involved in a wreck. Paying attention helps.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Parents should have an understanding of their children’s maturity levels prior to letting them drive regardless of age.

    My dad worked in logging and construction. We often spent our summers in some extremely remote areas. I was 12-13 when he let me drive his pickup or car around with him in the passenger seat. By the time my brother and I were around 14-15 he would let us drive his gravel trucks. We even had the opportunity to run bulldozers and loaders.

    2 years ago I was in the backcountry and got onto a natural gas right of way. There was a relatively easy 4 km stretch of trail that I let my boys drive my pickup up and down. They were 9 and 11 at the time. They still talk about it. It may not affect their driving abilities at a latter age but it is a memory they cherish.

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    Of my twin boys, one of them is pretty darn good at age 4 with the Power Wheels Wrangler we have. The other son is pretty good, but is easily distracted compared to his brother. Depending on our finances, I’d like to get involved with karts or something in a few years, I think he’d love it, they both might. I’d at least like to get one of those simple simulator set-ups (proper seat, mount for monitor,etc.) a PS3 or 4 and Gran Turismo 5. For the kids, yeah, that’s it…

    I always drove the arcade games growing up ( OutRun, Race Drivin’,etc.). Just like I’ve always played flight simulator starting with the original SubLogic version. But I didn’t start any formal instruction in terms or driving or flying until I was 16. The result is that you can get some very wrong ideas that are hard to shake (Law of Primacy as it is).

    As a flight instructor, the kids(and adults) who were flight sim geeks like me usually had an easier time with the basics of flight. Some were a bit too enamored with themselves, but many learned the basics much faster. The easiest ones to teach the basics of flying to were the ones who hadn’t driven a car yet.

    As for letting kids drive, I feel that if you control the environment and build slowly on the skills, age 10 isn’t too young, but it all depends on the maturity level of the child. I had a few 14 year old flying students who could handle the airplane fine physically, but they didn’t study or learn anything else. But I wouldn’t put them on a public road until driving age ( in PA it’s 16 right now).

    Incidentally, most airline pilots only receive about 25 hours of simulator time before being sent “to the line” to learn for real under a training captain. Now, those simulators are very complex,expensive machines and simulate the airplane at about 99.5%. You are taught to treat it as a real situation (and it feels like it) But there’s still a bit of disconnect between the real thing and some odd things peculiar to the giant computer the sim is.

    But it’s an effective tool and I wish that driving was taught in the same manner. We “bend” the simulator so we don’t bend a real airplane in other words.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    “Sexist comments about women being too scared to drive in competitive racing aside . . .”

    Yep, he really goofed up there. It’s actually spatial abilities that females generally lack. Much of the difference in relative brain size between males and females is devoted to that.

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