The Parent-Teen Driving Agreement
The CDC has a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement sample that is useful for parents who are determining their own rules of the road. This document includes various categories of promises made by teen drivers, including following rules of the road, driving in a focused and alert manner, taking responsibility as the driver of a vehicle, and respecting laws around using alcohol and drugs. Along with promises, the document also outlines restrictions that allow teenage drivers to become better at handling various situations, while avoiding those that could potentially become dangerous.
Establish Guidelines around Road Rules
State and federal governments spend a lot of time in creating and updating laws of the road to help keep drivers, passengers, and pedestrians safe. As you create your own parent-teen driving agreement, include rules around maintaining the legal requirements of safe driving. These include obeying all traffic signals, stop signs, street signs, and markings on the road, staying within the speed limit (and reducing speed based on driving conditions), wearing a seatbelt at all times, and avoiding drag racing or other dangerous driving habits.
With the drastic increase in cell phone usage over the past decade, distracted driving has become one of the biggest problems on the road. Your teen should never use a cell phone while driving, and that commitment should be reflected in the agreement. Additionally, teens should avoid any other distractions while driving, such as eating or drinking, using earbuds or headphones, or driving in an impaired state, whether due to emotional distress, or the use of drugs or alcohol.
Driving is a privilege, not a right, so teens should understand their responsibility in taking on this new role as a driver. They should commit to taking responsibility for their actions behind the wheel, which may include paying for any tickets or citations, driving only with permission from a parent or guardian, and maintain a set grade point average or meet other requirements as dictated by the other party involved in the agreement. You may have your teen pay for some or all of the costs associated with owning and operating a car, such as fuel, insurance, and maintenance.
By creating a contract, this allows you and your teen to understand the expectations involved in driving and hopefully avoid problems as your child learns to drive. It also encourages safe driving and helps teenage drivers become more responsible when they climb behind the wheel of a vehicle.
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