Experts recommend require new teen drivers to sign a teen driving contract.
So, you’ve found a great driver’s ed class, you’re following the best GDL advice out there and you’re doing a fantastic job of coaching your teenager. What now? It’s time for the teen driving contract: an agreement between you and your teen that lays out the driving rules and consequences for your teen. Here are some tips about the teen driving contract, plus a link to a recommended teen driving contract you can download today.
Tips for the Teen Driving Contract
1. Have some baseline rules.
Your teen driving contract should include some baseline rules that discourage behaviors that lead to accident and injury or death, like never driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, never using a cell phone while driving, never speeding and always wearing a seatbelt.
2. Include consequences.
The teen driving contract should also include specific consequences for violating the rules and parents must be willing to enforce the rules in the teen driving contract, otherwise your teenager will have no real incentive to follow the rules. Making the consequences specific — you will lose access to the car for a week, if … — is helpful, as everyone will be on the same page about what will happen if the rules are broken.
3. Always offer a no-questions-asked ride home.
Parents should institute a “safe-passage” clause that lets your teenager know that if she is ever concerned about getting into a car, as a driver or a passenger, you will pick her up, no questions asked. Save the discussion for the next morning or, better, yet several days later.
4. Be willing to enforce the contract.
The effectiveness of the teen driver contract directly correlates to your enforcement of it. These kinds of rules encourage teenagers to take the responsibility of driving seriously, while also helping them resist peer pressure.
Click here to download a sample Driving Agreement recommended by the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics.