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Have a teenager who is expected to get their driver’s license within the next year or two? It’s not too early to start talking about driving safety procedures with them! Between standard driving laws to proper road behavior, there are plenty of discussions to be had before they are given the keys.
One tip that we do recommend to parents, is to create a Safe Driving Contract with your child. This ensures that they are fully aware of the risks they face while on the road and helps them establish early on safe driving behavior.
There are several steps you and your teen should take when creating your Safe Driver Contract. These steps include:
• Come up with fair terms of your contract. This could be punishment for receiving a driving violation or your expectations for your teen driver as far as filling up the gas tank and curfew while driving your car.
• Develop consequences for not adhering to the terms of your contract for both parties. You will also need to be held accountable as an example to your teen. Accepting that you have consequences for breaching the terms of the contract shows that this is a document you take seriously, and so should they.
• All people in authority should be prepared to enforce the contract with your teen. This includes both parents, grandparents, step-parents, etc. This contract is meant to keep your teenage driver safe, and you can only assume that the people who take a hand in raising your teen will want to abide by your Safe Driving Contract.
Remember, driving is a privilege, not a right. If your child decides to violate the rules that were put in place, do not be afraid to take that privilege away from them. Establishing safe driving behavior may take time with your child, but it will be worth it in the end.
Copyright 2002 by William C. Wilson, Jr.