There are few moments as important to a teen and as frightening to a parent as letting a newly licensed teenager drive without parental supervision. You trust your child and believe that he or she is ready for this important step toward adulthood, but the thought of a fatal car accident keeps you up at night.
What Can You Do To Keep Your Child Safe?
Your child has completed a good driver’s education course, has driven with you many times, and has earned his or her license. Now is the big moment. To further promote good driving practices, consider signing a contract with your teen that includes the following:
- A limitation on the number of passengers your teen may have in the car at any time. Serious accidents are more likely for teen drivers who have more passengers with them in the car.
- A strict prohibition on all use of cell phones and other electronic equipment including but not limited to iPods and GPS.
- A no tolerance policy for any amount of alcohol or drugs.
- A requirement that your teen, and all passengers, always wear seat belts.
- A requirement that your teen always obey the speed limit and other traffic laws.
- A curfew, or time by which your teen must be home at night.
- Other requirements that meet the needs of your family and foster responsible driving practices.
Of course, many of these things are already imposed by state law. However, your teen needs to know that you are also enforcing these safety requirements and that any violation, no matter how minor, will result in a loss of driving privileges.
Fatal car accidents involving teen drivers are mistakes that can’t be righted. Thus, it is important to take the steps necessary to protect your child, and your family, from a fatal car accident before your child gets behind the wheel of the car.