“Court Case Friday”
With her parents away for the evening, their fourteen-year-old daughter invited her friends for a joy ride in her parent’s new Cadillac luxury sedan.The four girls were playing with the controls and gadgets as they cruised down the road in rich Newport Beach.
Suddenly, the driver looked up and realized they were speeding toward a red light. She panicked. Instead of hitting the brake pedal, she slammed down the accelerator. (“Pedal confusion” is not uncommon among inexperienced and elderly drivers.)
The girl rear-ended a custom Porsche, forcing it into a luxury Mercedes. All three cars were new. All three cars were very expensive.
Fortunately, the girls suffered only minor injuries. Unfortunately, all three cars were totaled. The cost of the damage was enormous!
The driver was arrested and prosecuted.
This placed the parents in a difficult dilemma.
Their insurance company would only cover the damage if the parents said their daughter had permission to drive the car. But then their insurance would be canceled, and the parents could be prosecuted for loaning their car to an unlicensed driver and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
If the parents denied that their daughter was authorized to take the car, their insurance company would not cover the loss, and their daughter would be found guilty of joyriding or auto theft. The daughter would be ordered to pay for the damage as part of her sentence.
In the end, the parents told the truth and threw their daughter under the proverbial bus. (It is usually best to choose the truth and “let the consequences follow.”)
- One, minor transgressions can result in major consequences.
- Two, if you have teenagers, don’t trust them.
- Three, better yet, don’t have teenagers.
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