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How to raise a safe teen driver

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Having a new teen driver brings a whole new set of worries for parents. You’ve probably seen statistics like the one that teens are more likely to be involved in a crash during their first year with a license than at any other time in their life.

The good news is that one study found that when parents set (and enforce) their own rules for teen driving, they can cut their chances of a crash by as much as half. Fortunately, the state of New York has some restrictions for young drivers with a provisional license, such as limiting nighttime driving and the number of young passengers in the car. Your car may even allow you to set restrictions on it from your phone.

However, kids should drive safely because it’s smart – not because they can’t get the car to go above the designated speed limit. Parent-teen driving agreements are a popular way of letting parents make their expectations known for their new driver.

These work best when everyone is held to many of the same standards. Parents who model safe driving behavior from the time their children are young typically have safer teen drivers.

What should you include in your parent-teen driving agreement?

Some of the rules commonly included in the parent-teen driving agreement are also laws. However, it’s still wise to include them. For example, things like not driving while under the influence, making sure everyone in the car buckled up and not using a cellphone or other hand-held devices. 

You likely want to add a few rules, like:

  • Not taking the keys without permission
  • Not getting on highways or interstates or going more than a certain distance without first getting permission
  • Not using any hands-free devices or the on-board communications system while driving (which means you also agree not to text or call them while they’re driving)
  • Not having any teen passengers (even though the state allows one non-family passenger under 21)

The more careful your teen is, the less likely they are to be the victim of a reckless or negligent driver. Of course, that’s no guarantee. If your teen is involved in a crash, having legal guidance can help you ensure that you maximize your claim.