The Number One Key to Teen Driver Safety
The number one key to keeping teen drivers safe is parents. Parents are the most critical factor in ensuring our kids are safe behind the wheel of the car and whether they will make it home in one piece.
They can make sure to equip the teen driver with enough knowledge and to learn what they need to know to drive safely.
It is true for all facets of life, but especially driving! The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and some others, including the American Pediatrics Academy, have come up with a new program called, “Parents Are The Key.” It is pretty cool and has a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement.
It is a contract that you can sign with your kid, which makes the rules clear of what is allowed when they are driving. I am a lawyer, so I love contracts, but this is effective from a psychological point of view. You can make things clear between parents and teens. You can go over all the issues they might face while driving.
It goes over things they promise to do, such as following the rules of the road, not breaking the law, no alcohol or drugs, and being a responsible driver. It is an excellent document as it lists all of the restrictions – you can limit how often they drive and how many friends they are allowed to have in the car.
It is a practical agreement because if they obey the rules, over time, you can reward them by lifting some restrictions.
You can also make penalties clear. If they break the rules, the punishment is already agreed and signed by both of you. Although unenforceable, an agreement between parent and child is beneficial. It allows both sides to know in advance where they stand.
It is another way to safeguard our teens when out driving. I am Seth Smiley of the Smiley Law Firm for the Parents of Teen Drivers Facebook Group. If you have more questions or input, please leave a comment below, and I will get back to you.
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