Car crashes are the number one cause of teen death in the United States (http://drivesteady.com/teen-driving-statistics). Pretty frightening huh?
So, is your child ready for a driver’s license? As you sit there and contemplate that fact that your teen is clamoring for his or her driver’s license. “Everyone has one Dad” “All my friend are getting theirs”, they tell you. Of course all their friends are telling their parents that all their friends are getting theirs. So all the parents are being simultaneously told by all the kids that all the kids are getting theirs: and, if all the parents just stopped and talked to each other, maybe they would agree that none of them should get theirs.
By the time our child is approaching driving age, the demands on us for transportation far exceed our capability as a single parent unless, of course, we are rich enough to be able to afford a maid and a chauffeur. Needless to say that leaves most of us out in the car trying to drive our kid here and there in between all the other things we have to do as single parents just to hold the fort together.
By the time the teen has reached driving age, he or she usually has a myriad of activities to be involved in.
Alright so against your better judgment, you’re going to let your child get his or her driver’s license anyway.
When we consider the enormous risk that automobiles entail, it’s worth the extra precautions to ensure your teen is going where they say and doing what they tell you. There is a delicate line between not trusting your teen and being especially vigilant. The family car is one area where the extra vigilance is essential. If school is 10 miles away and your child just went there and back how’s come the odometer changed by forty miles? Where did the extra twenty miles go?
PROPOSED CONTRACT FOR USE OF THE CAR
I John Q. Parent agree to permit my child to use my car provided my child agrees to and abides by the following conditions.
I John Q. Son agree:
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- To replace the gas I use.
- To return at the agreed on time.
- To only go to the places I have discussed ahead of time and agreed to with my parents.
- To call for permission to change the agreed to plan or schedule.
- To be responsible for all damages incurred while the car is in my possession.
- To NEVER EVER drive after I have taken any alcohol or drugs.
- I understand that failure to comply with the above rules will result in the suspension of my driving privilege.
The above is a simple contract but captures the essence of what you should reasonably expect from your son or daughter.
Carrying passengers is another issue altogether. Many states, such as California, restrict the age and or number of passengers a teen driver can carry. For example, in California now, a teen driver with a provisional drivers license is not permitted to have a passenger younger than 20 in the car unless accompanied by an older driver. Hopefully this helps reduce the risk.