Guide to Creating a Teen Driving Contract

You can help your teen create a Teen Driving Contract. This will ensure that they are responsible drivers who have a clear understanding of the importance and how to drive safely. You can make a Teen Driving Contract with your child to teach them the importance of driving safely and what consequences they face if they don’t. Your teen will be reminded that driving a car is a privilege, not a right by signing a Teen Driving Contract.

A Teen Driving Contract

You must follow several steps to create a driving license with your teen. These steps are:

  • Create the contract terms.
  • For breaches, create the consequences
  • Force the contract to be enforced.

Let’s take a closer look at each step before we get into the details of how to create the terms. First, you should not create the contract and ask your teen driver to sign it. Your teen driver should be involved in the process. You can let them help you to define the terms and set the consequences. You have the opportunity to let them know how serious they take driving. This is also your chance to convey safety in a non-threatening manner. This will increase your teen’s willingness to pay attention to safety terms and prevent them from getting defensive.

The Contract Terms

Your contract terms should be designed to ensure that your teen is able to drive safely. Here are some terms your teen can agree to in the contract.

I agree that…

  • Safety will always be my top priority
  • Speed increases the likelihood of being in an accident. I must adhere to the speed limits at all times.
  • I’m not an expert in driving. Experience is the key to good driving. This experience comes from Mom and Dad. I will accept my parents’ driving advice without question.
  • I will not permit anyone to drive my vehicle unless they have given me permission.
  • Because passengers can cause distraction and increase the chance of an accident, I limit the number I have at any given time to _____.
  • I will always remember that my responsibility is to ensure that my passengers arrive safely at their destination without any injury.
  • I will always wear a seatbelt and won’t start driving until everyone is properly belted.
  • My life and the lives of my passengers are worth more than a text or phone call. My cell phone will remain in my glove box or purse while I drive and will not be removed unless the car has been turned off.
  • I will respect other drivers and not yell at them, even if they are driving badly. I realize that it is not a good idea to beep my horn to warn of an accident.
  • More important than speed is getting to my destination safely and without injuring anyone. I will slow down at every yellow and red light and wait for pedestrians to cross before I move on to the green light.
  • I won’t eat while I drive and I will limit distractions.
  • I will never drink alcoholic beverages or take any medications that make me drowsy.

Ask your teen to tell you what term should be added. Make sure to include everything they learned in driver education classes. Don’t forget to include any activities that are location dependent that may affect their driving. Make sure to include the risk you are trying to prevent in each term. This will help your teen realize that these aren’t just arbitrary rules, but safety measures that have consequences if they are ignored.

Contract Breach: The Consequences

Contracts are only valid if they have enforceable consequences for any breaches of conduct. Teenagers may need more consequences than the ordinary damages that result in a breach. A consequence may be needed if there is not an accident that results in damages or injuries.

Consider what your teen values, and the extent to which they are using the car irresponsibly. This will help you create the consequences. You may wish to set up a progressive chart that allows you to suspend privileges if there is a breach. Each breach will be considered serious. You can suspend your teenager’s curfew for several nights if they have more passengers than they should. You can also take the car away for one week if they are texting while driving.

Include your teenager in the process, and get their opinions on fair consequences for any term they might break. You might be amazed at what they come up.

Enforcement of the Contract

One of the most challenging aspects of a driving contract is knowing what to do in order to enforce it. You may have school or work obligations for your child that will make your life more complicated and chaotic. Your spouse and you must be ready to follow the law at all costs. Your teen won’t be motivated to adhere to the terms if you don’t show this commitment.

It is important to remember that a teen driving agreement is not an empty threat. This can be an excellent educational tool, giving your teen practical advice and keeping you safe.