As a parent, the thought of your teen behind the wheel can be scary enough. The statistics about teen driving: even scarier. In 2013, 2,163 teens ages 16 to 19 died in motor vehicle accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That’s nearly six teenagers every day.
But, there’s good news, too: Graduated driver licensing programs (GDL) have been shown to help reduce injuries and fatalities, according to the CDC, and they’re now in effect in every state. The idea of GDL is to gradually increase a teen’s driving privileges in three increments:
Supervised Driving Time: Tips for Parents and Guardians
Fifty hours of supervised driving time may sound like a lot, but you can help make it more productive — and pleasant — with these tips:
Driving on Their Own: Strategies for When You’re No Longer in the Passenger Seat
How can you maintain a positive influence on their driving habits once teens graduate to the intermediate and fully licensed stages and you aren’t sitting beside them in the car? Create a written driving contract or agreement that clearly spells out both responsibilities (“I will not text or talk on my mobile phone while driving”) and consequences for violations (“No driving for two weeks”).
Use these resources to create your own driving agreement with your teen, signed by both you and your new driver:
Use one of these agreements or another you find online, or select the best aspects of each and negotiate your own.
Sure, you’ll both be nervous the first time your teen takes the wheel. But, with clear communication and expectations, you can help make the entire process of teaching and allowing your teen to drive easier on everyone.
The cost of auto insurance can add to the worries of training a teen driver. We’re here to help you through it with Teen Safety Rewards™, an array of tools and discounts that provide guidance for good driving preparation and rewards for successfully meeting goals. Talk to an independent agent to find out about availability in your area.
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