Your teen is about to start driving. First, take a deep breath. Then learn what every parent should know before handing over the keys.
Your child is now a teenager, and it’s probably hard to believe they are approaching the driving years. It’s an exciting time for teens, and now, more than ever, they need your help.
Parents and guardians are play an important role in helping teens develop safe driving habits. Admittedly it can be a challenging time for both the learner and the parent, but you can do it. Start with a promise to be a coach with love, patience and support. Encourage practice driving to help develop the skills and confidence they will need to safely operate a vehicle under all driving conditions. Have open and honest conversations about their driving privileges, the rules and the consequences. And most important, lead by example.
Let’s start with an agreement.
Talking to your teen about the rules of the road isn’t necessarily easy, but it is important. That’s why we recommend a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement to help start the conversation and come up with mutually agreed-upon rules of the road before handing over the keys to the car. Many different templates are available for download. Here is one example:
GDL Laws by State
Learn about the graduate driver license law specific to your state
Parent central for those with teen drivers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Underage Drinking and Driving
Foundation for Advanced Alcohol Research Developed to prepare teens to be safe behind the wheel, IKnowEverything is an integrated effort that highlights the issues of drunk driving and distracted driving.
Brain Injury Alliance
Tips for parents and teens
Teens and Seat Belt Use
This report, made possible with funding from The Allstate Foundation, details promising programs and practices that states are using to encourage teens to wear their seat belts every time they drive or ride in a vehicle.
Teens and Speeding
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Parent’s Guide – Speed Management Teens see their driver’s license as proof that they’re grown up. That piece of plastic with their photo symbolizes greater independence and freedom. What they don’t realize: A license can also expose them to certain dangers, such as speeding.
From AAA, this site gives information on driving rules and laws in each state, and provides tips and information for parents with young drivers.
Share the Keys – (New Jersey)
Teens who say their parents set rules and monitor their driving in a helpful and supportive way are half as likely to be in a crash!
How To Teach Your Teen
A funny take on practice driving. The real message here is that more practice on the road will help keep your teen driver safe.
Tips and resources for parents and teens
Remains the most proven and effective driver crash reduction program ever developed, endorsed by more insurance agencies than any other program.