Handing your teen keys to the family car for the first time can be scary, but it’s important to remember what you can do to help them stay safe.
Teaching your teen the rules of the road and taking them for driving practice are the best ways promote safe teen driving habits. But once they’re on the road alone, consider creating a driving contract. A driving contract helps you clearly communicate how you expect your teen to behave before, while and after driving.
Note: Sponsored content was created by Titan Insurance and is intended for information purposes only. While I believe these are great tips, neither Titan nor A Daddy Blog make warranties with respect to the information provided. Entering into a driving contract is not required to obtain insurance and has no impact on insurance rates.
Driving contract part 1: Teen promises
In the first section, create a list of promises that your teen will agree to keep. Some will promote safety, while others can help your teen qualify for discount auto insurance. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- I, the teen, will always wear a seatbelt while the car is moving.
- I will always obey the speed limit, posted road signs and traffic laws.
- I will always tell you, the parent, where I am going and with whom.
- I will always tell you if I am stopped by the police, or if I am in another car that is stopped by the police.
- I will never use a mobile phone while the car is moving, whether to talk, text or get directions.
- I will never get behind the wheel while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol.
- I will never get into a car that is driven by someone who is intoxicated by drugs or alcohol.
- I will do my best to keep my grades high and driving record clean to help ensure I qualify for low cost auto insurance.
Driving contract part 2: Parent promises
Signing the contract with your teen makes you both accountable, and shows that the agreement isn’t intended to restrict their driving, but to keep them safe. Here are a few things you may want to include in the “parent promises” section of the driving contract:
- I, the parent, will always provide a safe ride home if you, the teen, are unable to drive.
- I will not yell or become upset if you are unable to drive for any reason. We will calmly discuss the situation the following day.
- If I am unable to pick you up when you need help, I promise to help you find a safe way home so that you never have to get behind the wheel while impaired.
- I will help improve your driving skills by providing you with practice opportunities in various conditions and situations.
- I will provide a good driving example by following the rules of the road.
Driving contract part 3: Consequences for breaking the contract
Establishing rules and consequences ahead of time can help you avoid an argument if your teen breaks the driving contract. Include some guidelines for punishment if the contract is broken, such as:
- If I, the teen, break this contract, I will lose my driving privileges for ____ weeks/months.
- If I break this contract, I will lose my mobile phone for ____ weeks/months.
Talk with your teen to establish a driving contract that works for your family. Telling your teen what you expect ahead of time helps prevent excuses like “I didn’t know I wasn’t allowed to do that.” Remember to stress to your teen that their safety is your main concern, and that parts of the driving contract will relax as your teen becomes a more experienced driver.