Parent Teen Contracts Aimed At Promoting Safe Driving

Driving contracts are a new trend among parents and their teenage children, which they hope will lead to safer driving. USA Today reported last week that the contracts, which have two key components: restrictions are modified as drivers gain experience and demonstrate responsibility, and penalties for violations are spelled out clearly. “It’s a way for parents and teens to engage with each other and agree on what the consequences are,” says Arlene Greenspan, a senior scientist with the Injury Center at CDC. “Writing it down clarifies for everybody what the rules are.”

Sample contracts are available through AAA and The Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Sunday marked the start of National Teen Driver Safety Week and a push by many traffic safety advocates to stress the importance of parental involvement for novices. The CDC, for example, this week is launching a “Parents are the Key” education campaign.

The contracts are often used as part of states’ graduated-driver-licensing programs, in which young drivers gain privileges as they gain experience.

Motor vehicle crashes are the No. 1 killer of youths 16-19, says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That’s sobering news for the parents of young drivers.

This is positive step towards promoting safe driving for teens. I believe this is helpful not just because it promotes safe driving, but also requires young people to gain more driving experience before they are given more responsibilities and driving privileges.

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