Although talking to your teenager about some topics can sometimes be a dicey proposition, a conversation about driving might be comparatively easy: According to Allstate.com, four of five teens said their parents are the best influence in helping them drive more safely.
And that conversation is critical: Every year approximately 4,000 teens are killed in car crashes, and about 355,000 are injured, states the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. And the younger the driver the more likely he or she will be involved in a crash, as a 16 year-old driver is two times more likely to have an accident than an 18-19 year-old driver. But there is some good news among frightening statistics: you can help your teen become a better driver just by opening an ongoing dialogue with him or her.
Outlining a parent/kid contract is a great way of declaring your expectations, and helping to make your teen understand and sign off on them. This written agreement with your teen driver can define and formalize your understanding, as well as outline your teen's key driving responsibilities and mutually determined consequences associated when those responsibilities are not met.
Both you and your child should agree upon each topic addressed. For emphasis, the document should be signed and dated by both parties -- and posted somewhere they'll see it, like the refrigerator. Your contract can also be revisited and updated as your young driver becomes more experienced. As Allstate says: "The more you're involved with your teen's driving, the better driver he or she will become."
For more information and tips about teen driving, visit teendriving.