Sweet Success: The Probationary License
Agree on House Rules
Your parents will want to set some “ground rules” for your time behind the wheel. These may include limits on peer passengers, no cell phone use, and restricted driving times (such as no driving past 9 p.m.). Try not to take these limits personally! Your parents aren’t setting rules to control you or because they don’t trust you. They just want to make sure you stay safe.
Getting your license can be challenging. We know that teens who slow down, take learning to drive step by step, and let their parents into the process have lower crash rates. In fact, our research shows that teens with involved parents are half as likely to crash.
The best way for you to stay safe and earn driving privileges is to work with your parents, not against them. They may want to create a parent-teen driving agreement where you work together to define your driving rules. This is your opportunity to ask questions about why certain rules are in place and to have your opinions be heard. You can help create limits that work for everyone.
Keep in mind that driving rules can change as time goes on. For example, if you and your parents agree to no driving past 9 p.m. and you maintain a clean driving record for a year after getting your license, talk to your parents about rethinking this rule. Proving responsibility is the best way to earn new privileges.
There are many great examples of parent-teen driving agreements. Below are a few sources to get you and your parents started: