Q&A: More on teens and cars

Dear Liz: Your answer to the parent wanting to purchase a convertible for his son reminded me of something that happened long ago. When I graduated from high school in 1966, a friend’s wealthy parents bought him a brand-new Lamborghini Miura as a graduation present. Two days after he got the car, he missed a curve in the mountains and rolled the vehicle. By a miracle he was not badly hurt, but the car was scrap. You gave good advice. Giving your teenage son the keys to a high-performance car is like handing him a live grenade. Kids often want things that they should not have.

Answer: These stories are legion at affluent schools where parents are so focused on indulging their children, or flaunting their wealth, that they don’t fully consider the risks involved. Sometimes the children aren’t as lucky as your friend was.

Parents can still make an ostentatious display by buying their children new four-cylinder luxury sedans, replete with air bags and other safety features, and replacing them when they’re inevitably totaled. But everyone involved would be better off if parents avoided high-horsepower vehicles, new or used, that tempt their kids to test their driving limits.

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