2011 Honda Odyssey TouringEnlarge Photo
Driving requires a lot of concentration, especially with all the other distracted drivers on the road, increased traffic, and the tendency for some of us to wait until the last minute to get going where we need to be. Considering that some teens still ride with one or both parents for a lot of the time, it's time for a list of the top 10 things never to say to your Dad when he’s driving.
While they’re not ranked in any particular order, any one of them is likely to either temporarily distract Dad or start a discussion you really don’t want to have.
2011 BMW 3-Series CoupeEnlarge Photo
Maybe it’s a gender thing, or maybe not. Actually, this reporter doesn’t much like being asked the question either, and I have a pretty decent sense of direction. But men, on the other hand, particularly fathers, like to have it all together. Being the family protector is a big responsibility. Your Dad won’t ever admit he’s lost – even if he is. So, if you think (or know) your pop is off-course, figure out a better way to get back on track than by questioning his navigational skills. How about using the car's navigation system to chart the course? These show the roads, not traffic conditions, but it's a quick way to find out if you are indeed lost -- or can get there via an alternate route.
2011 Ford ExplorerEnlarge Photo
I’ve got to go to the bathroom right now
What family road trip doesn’t include multiple restroom stops along the way? The more siblings in the car, the greater the likelihood that that number of stops will increase. No one, it seems, has their internal plumbing synched with the rest of the family. So, if you’ve really got to go, take your chances telling your Dad. If the family just stopped for gas and you didn’t use the station’s facilities, you’re going to hear about it – guaranteed.
I need you to sign my report card before school
This one is right up there with the requirement to have a note signed by one or both parents, but a report card that hasn’t been signed – and Dad’s driving you to school – is probably not going to win you any points for bringing it up en route. Maybe that’s part of your plan. Dad will be in a hurry and won’t pay much attention to your less-than-stellar grade in math or science – but don’t count on it. The full-blown lecture may just be tabled for the dinner table. Or, Dad might just pull over and give you a piece of his mind right now. Keep the peace while you’re on the road. Plan ahead and get the necessary signature before Dad gets in the car.
I had a fender-bender in my car when I was out the other day
And that answers the question of why you’re not driving your own car. While you might have thought you could bring this subject up and gloss over it, that’s not really very likely. Fathers take this kind of thing very seriously – and it doesn’t matter if you’re a teenage boy or girl (although Dad might be a bit more forgiving for his little girl, but that’s just a Dad-thing). In any case, while he’s driving is not the time to have this conversation. It’s a total mind-blower that’s guaranteed to ruin his day – and yours.
Don’t get mad but I got kicked out of school
So you waited until now to inform your father? Do you seriously have two logical thoughts you can string together? Like the relationship between action and consequence? Any sentence that begins with, “Don’t get mad but” should be struck from your vocabulary, especially when you bring it up when your Dad is driving you – anywhere.