I’m 19 years old and ever since I had gotten my license 2 years ago, my parents have not allowed me to drive after dark. I don’t understand why or how I can convince them that I’m able to drive at night. The only time I drive at night is when I’m going home from work. But if I wanted to spend the night at a friends house they don’t allow me to drive to their house and stay the night there. So how do I convince them to let me drive at night?

  • 3
    First you would have to determine whether their concern is (a) your ability to drive a motor vehicle when it's dark, or (b) your being out with friends with a car at night. It sounds like it might not be (a). May 18, 2023 at 2:23
  • My father is now 89 years old, and whenever I'm visiting and go out to run errands he always says "Drive carefully!".
    – Jon Custer
    May 19, 2023 at 18:34
  • 1
    Have you discussed with your parents why they don't want you to drive at night?
    – komodosp
    May 24, 2023 at 15:08

2 Answers 2


Traffic accidents are the most frequent cause of death for people in your age. A tired driver is much more accident prone, bad visibility is an obvious risk-factor, and encounters with large animals more frequent. I would assume that in the late evening/early night there are also the most drunk drivers around. If socializing with your friends may involve alcohol, this would also increase your risk.

My point here is that your parents' concerns are not prima facie unreasonable.

In my experience, the best way to handle safety concerns like this is to calmly discuss the individual risks and mitigating strategies. This serves several purposes: It establishes a common understanding of the issues. It identifies and emphasizes safety measures. It gives you a chance to demonstrate that you can be trusted to make resonable decisions.

In your concrete situations, questions to discuss include the following:

  1. What route are you taking to your friend's place and back? Any particular risks there? (Animal crossings, iffy road situation, a nearby nightclub from which drunk people try to drive home, etc) If there are risks, could you take a different, safer route?

  2. What happens if you are quite tired or a bit tipsy? Can you crash on your friend's couch then? Can you critically evaluate your own driving ability at that particular moment? How do you avoid overestimating how well you can still drive then?

There is no guarantee that you can have such a conversation with your parents. Even if you do your part well, they might not be able to engage in a reasonable manner on this. If this is the case, the next question might be with what authority they forbid this to a 19 year old.

The point raised by Greg Hewgill in the comments that this might not be about driving at all, and is rather about you spending the night at your friend's is also relevant.


One more thing that i would add here with what others have contributed is that, most parents in general are more concern about the safety of their children irrespective of their age.

My late father was 85years and my brother who drove him many in many occasions said that before our dad allowed him to drive him, he had to prove to him his driving capabilities in many scenarios. Despite the fact that he is a professional driver.

So keep in mind that you probably also have to show your driving skills to your parents during the day and at night. Perhaps this can convince them more to have more confidence in you.

I hope this helps.

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