Now that you have a young driver in your household, you may begin to have questions that you have not previously thought of before. Vested Risk Strategies is here to respond to any questions or concerns you may have.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1) Discussion Points……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 3
2) Young Driver Contract………………………………………………………………………………………… 4
3) Tips for Teen Drivers …………………………………………………………………………………………. 9
A young driver can provide a level of anxiety and worry in most parents. The Discussion Points below hope to encourage your young driver to talk with you.
1) Parents are in control: Set ground rules and expectations for responsible operation of a vehicle. Even if the young driver owns his or her own vehicle- as long as they are in your household, you set the rules.
2) Each state has rules. Make sure you understand the rules for young drivers in your state. For more information, please visit www.iihs.org/laws
3) Talk about driving while you are a passenger and your young driver is operating the vehicle. This is a great time to talk about your concerns and educate. Be sure to share your driving experiences with them as well (i.e. accidents, parking tickets, etc.) The more your child is able to hear about your similar experiences growing up, the more he or she will look to you for leadership and advice.
4) Ask them about their friends’ driving styles. Many times kids will see their friends doing something they shouldn’t on the road, and they want to say something. This is a great chance to listen to their concerns regarding their peers.
5) Encourage: Find times to praise the young driver. Positive reinforcement for excellent behavior will encourage them to continue doing well.
YOUNG DRIVER – PARENT CONTRACT
________ 1. Introduction. More teenagers die due to motor vehicle accidents than any other single cause. Apart from the risk of death is the risk of injury to the teen driver, passengers, and others. Driving can also become a financial burden to the family, a burden which can become a crisis in the event of an accident.
• Motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) are the leading cause of death in people age 16 to 20. MVAs account for about 1/3 of deaths in this age group.
• People age 16 to 20 have the highest fatality rate due to MVAs than that of any other age group.
• People age 16 to 20 make up only 5% of drivers and only 3% pf all the miles driven by all drivers; and yet they are involved in 15% of traffic deaths.
• About 5,000 teenagers of driving age die in automobile accidents every year.
• For every teenager killed, about 100 have injuries that are not fatal. MVAs are the leading cause of disability related to head and spinal cord injuries.
• 16-year-old drivers are 20 times as likely to have an MVA as are people in the general population of drivers.
• 17-year-old drivers are 6 times more likely to have an MVA as are people in the general population of drivers.
________ 2. General Principle. The purpose of this agreement is to establish rules and expectations regarding use and operation of an automobile.
I recognize that driving is a privilege, not a right. The State grants this privilege to me, after determining that I meet the basic legal requirements for a license. However, it is also a privilege granted to me by my parents, who are under no obligation to do so, and who may withdraw the privilege at any time.
I understand that the car I drive is property of my parents, even if it is given to me as a gift. Because I am a minor, my parents remain responsible for much of my behavior.
I recognize that recklessness or errors that I make while driving could kill or hurt me, other passengers in my car, people in other cars, and pedestrians. Among those that could be victims of my driving mistakes are: babies, children, my friends, my family members, parents of children, and many others.
I understand that I will only be allowed to drive when I am willing to abide by the rules and regulations established by my parents.
________ 3. The Vehicle. Driving an automobile is an expensive privilege. The purpose of this section is to designate which costs and general maintenance are the responsibilities of the driver.
I will be required to pay for the following:
________ % Cost of Vehicle
________ % Vehicle Registration
________ % Cost of Fuel
________ % Maintenance Costs
________ % Damage due to abuse
________ % Full Insurance Coverage
________ % Fines and Penalties
________ % Collision Damage
________ % Insurance Costs due to Driving Record
I will be responsible for the following:
________ Check Fluids
________ Inspect and check tires
________ Report unusual performance
________ Clean all windows
________ Maintain at least ¼ tank of gas at all times
________ Do normal maintenance
________ Wash and wax vehicle
________ Keep interior clean
________4. Insurance. My insurance rates will be established for a driver who receives a good student discount, discount for driver training, and who has no traffic tickets or accidents. At present, the cost of insurance is $____________ for (liability only / full coverage). I will pay on any vehicle damage except for no-fault accidents covered by the other driver.
________ 5. Traffic Tickets. I will obey all traffic laws. I am responsible for paying any traffic tickets, and any citation which results in a reduction in driving privileges. Traffic tickets typically range from $50 to $200 for simple negligence with reckless acts being significantly higher. Violations will result in suspension of my driving privileges for a period to be determined by my parents.
________ 6. Seat Belts. I agree to wear a seatbelt and to require all passengers to wear a seatbelt at all times. I will not take more passengers than the number of seatbelts. Seatbelts will be fastened before the car moves.
________ 7. Restricted Activities While Driving. I agree to devote my complete and undivided attention to driving while operating an automobile. An unusually high number of accidents are caused (or tickets received) when the driver is distracted or engaged in other activities than driving the car. I agree not to eat or drink when driving. I will not change CDs or “fiddle” with the radio when the car is moving. I will pull over for any operations such as using beepers, cell phones, and electronic equipment.
________ 8. Substance Use. I shall never operate a motor vehicle while in a mental or physical state that would render vehicle operation unsafe. This includes alcohol, illegal drugs, certain prescription drugs, and emotions of very extreme anger or just showing off. I shall not be a passenger of a driver as described above, with no exceptions.
If for some unexplained reason either of the above situations exist, I will seek alternative transportation or will call a parent for advice and/or transportation at any hour from any place with no questions asked and no argument.
I will not allow alcohol or illegal drugs in the vehicle.
________ 9. Directions. An unusually high number of accidents are caused (or tickets received) when the driver is uncertain where he or she is going. I need to know where I am going and precisely how I will get there before leaving. If I am ever lost of uncertain, stop and ask for directions and notify my family of any delays. I will keep my family informed of my destination and approximate time of arrival and departure as well as route taken.
I will state my destination and time of return prior to using any vehicle. I will notify my parents if I think I will be more than 30 minutes late.
________ 10. Late Departure. Additionally, a number of accidents are caused by not allowing enough time to arrive at your destination at the required or promised time. I am responsible for allowing the appropriate amount of time to “get ready” and “drive responsibly” to get to my destination on time.
________ 11. User Privileges. I understand that there is a significant amount of driving and errands that must be performed to keep our family functioning at the level we have chosen. In exchange for the use of a vehicle, I agree to help with family driving and errands. Errands will be performed with a positive, helpful attitude. Sometimes these responsibilities will override my own desires and interests in using the car.
I understand the privilege will be linked to my performance at home and at school, such as:
________Doing duties at home properly and on time, including the following:
________Making my bed, cleaning my room, picking up clothes and school items
________Mowing and weeding the lawn
________Showing proper respect for parents, siblings, and others
________Grades, conduct, and effort at school
________Obeying my curfew
________Excessive complaining or negativism on any or all rules in this contract to either parent will result in suspension of my driving privileges for a period of time to be determined by my parents.
________I understand that both rest and nutrition are necessary for my physical and mental fitness. On nights prior to a school day, all studies, showering, and eating with cease by ________ p.m. for “lights out”. To ensure adequate studying is completed before “lights out”, a time limit of ______hr on the computer/watching television is imposed whether for school or for pleasure. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A balanced meal of carbs and protein will be eaten each morning prior to school.
________12. Gasoline. There is no excuse for running out of gas. I agree to keep my gas tank no less than ¼ full at all times.
________ 13. Curfew. There shall be a curfew imposed upon the Driver. On school days, curfew shall be ______p.m. On weekends and other non-school days during the driver’s 16th year, curfew shall be______. As of the driver’s 17th birthday, curfew on weekends and other non-school days shall be ______.
________ 14. Miscellaneous. I will inform my parents about any and all accidents and encounters with police.
I must ask permission to drive each time I drive. Exceptions to this rule will be given for regularly scheduled transportation to school, work, regular meetings, emergencies, etc.
I will not permit any other person to drive the car.
I will respect weather and road conditions, slowing down as needed for safety. I will contact my parents to discuss weather or poor road conditions when I am out driving.
I will not allow my passengers to behave in such a way as to damage the car or distract me while driving.
I will not allow smoking in the car.
In my car, I will always have my registration, insurance card, emergency phone numbers, jumper cables, and fire extinguisher.
________ 15. Amendments. We have used our best efforts to cover issues surrounding the use of an automobile; however, we reserve the right to modify this agreement in the future.
I agree to abide by the rules in this contract and I accept the consequences and penalties if I do not. I recognize my parent’s authority in deciding if I may drive. That authority is final until I am an adult living independent of them.
Signed on _______ day of _____________________________, _____________
New Driver _____________________________________________________________
IMPORTANT TIPS FOR TEEN DRIVERS
1) Invest in a Safe-Driving Course
• The more practice young drivers have behind the wheel, the better. Since inexperience results in many teen motor vehicle accidents, approved safe-driving courses can help teens gain experience and helpful skills.
2) Get the Safest Car for your Teen Driver
• When it comes to selecting the right car for your teen, safety and reliability are key. Choose the safest car you can afford, and look for advanced safety features. If a crash occurs, these safety features can be lifesavers.
3) Implement your own Graduated Licensing Program
• Even if your state has an excellent graduated drivers licensing program, consider implementing your own set of rules until you are comfortable with your son or daughter’s driving skills.
4) Have a heart to heart
• Driving is a privilege, not a right. Make sure that your young driver understands that. Before you hand over the keys, clearly explain your expectations for good driving behavior.
5) Practice what you Preach
• Set a good example for your young driver. Drive safely, buckle up, and avoid distractions behind the wheel.
6) Discuss Driving Costs
• If your child has to pay for some car-related expenses, chances are he or she will take driving more seriously and be safer on the road.
7) Set a Zero-Tolerance Drinking Policy
• Establish a no drinking and driving policy and stick to it. By being firm and setting a good example, you will help steer your child down the safe-driving road.
8) Keep a Squeaky-Clean Driving Record
• Drive safely, and keep your record clean. You could qualify for a Claim-Free Discount.
9) Encourage Good Grades
• If your child is a full-time high school or college student and maintains at least a 3.0 GPA, he or she could be eligible for a Good Student Discount.