Parent-Teen Driving Contract
Because they are still learning and not as skilled as other drivers, newly licensed teens benefit from having initial limitations on driving privileges. The primary benefit is less risk of crashing. This approach has been proven effective by helping teen drivers gain experience in lower-risk driving situations. Creating a parent-teen driving contract or teen driving agreement may help a family decide on rules for using the family car.
Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws can be used as a guide for developing a parent-teen driving contract. Parents and teens need to work together to set clear rules for driving without adult supervision. By jointly setting house driving rules, teens are more likely to follow them.
Coming to agreement on a list of household driving rules will not only keep teens safe, but also their passengers and other road users. Some of these rules are nonnegotiable, such as no cell phone use while driving and always wearing a seat belt. Others can be modified over time, such as getting home at 8 p.m. instead of 6 p.m. As teens gain experience and maturity, new driving privileges may be introduced. Likewise, when teens do not follow the rules within the parent-teen driving contract, driving privileges can be reduced.
Here are some examples of parent-teen driving contracts from trusted sources:
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Parent/Teen Agreement
- The Checkpoints Parent/Teen Agreement
- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Parent/Teen Agreement
- The AAA Parent-Teen Driving Agreement
- The National Safety Council New Driver Deal
Some families may decide not to use a parent-teen driving contract when setting house driving rules. That’s okay. What’s important is restricting driving privileges when teens are newly licensed and making sure that everyone in the family knows how to support them. Parents know their teens best.