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Worried About Your Teen Driver? Consider a Parent-Teen Safety Agreement

Wednesday, November 08, 2017By Richard Alexander

It’s a rite of passage for teenagers – they turn 16 and eagerly ask for the keys to their parents’ car. Parents can try to prepare their teen for this moment, but the fact of the matter is that once they are alone behind that wheel, there’s no telling what they’re going to do. While there’s no way to know for sure how your teen will drive, there are some steps you can take as a parent to try to encourage your teen to drive safely.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has put together a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement to deal with risky driving behaviors by teens. According to the CDC, more than 2,300 teens died in car accidents in 2015 and the primary cause was driver inexperience. The CDC is seeking to get parents more involved with their kids’ driving habits and to hold both teens and parents more accountable for safe driving.

The Parent-Teen Driving Agreement is a downloadable contract signed by both the teen and the parents. The Agreement covers some of the important safety points for teen drivers and opens up a dialogue between parents and teens about these vital issues. The Agreement also clearly sets out the expectation for teens to drive safely and provides a list of consequences including restriction of driving privileges if the teen does not comply. Some of the safety restrictions include agreements that the teen will not drive after a certain time at night, will only have a certain number of friends in the car at a time, and will not engage with electronic devices while the car is moving. Parents also have some responsibility as well – the Agreement requires parents to sign pledging to drive safely and be an excellent role model.

For parents with a new teen driver, the Parent-Teen Driving Agreement is an excellent way to approach a delicate subject and to clearly set forth expectations for using the family car. It also may help your teen to feel more committed to safety having signed an actual contract agreeing to its terms. You can find the free downloadable agreement here.

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