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Teen Stay-Safe Driving Contracts | Kidwell & Gallagher LTD

  • By Craig Kidwell
  • 24 May, 2017
Teen Stay-Safe Driving Contracts | Kidwell & Gallagher LTD

The statistics on teen traffic accidents are frightening for any parent to consider. Car crashes are the number one cause of death for teens in the U.S., and personal injury attorneys too often see the devastating injuries caused by other serious accidents involving teens.

Teens are 1.6 times more likely to be involved in an automobile accident than adults, but that doesn't mean that you have to ban driving and insist your teens resort to public transportation. Come up with a "Stay-Safe Driving Contract" for you and your teenagers to sign. That way, your teens know clearly what is expected of them and what the consequences will be if they don't comply.

Wear Seat Belts at All Times

The use of seat belts saves many lives each day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of teenagers who pass away in car crashes are not wearing their seat belt. Make sure that your kids get in the habit of buckling up every single time when they get behind the wheel of a car or ride as a passenger.

In many states, wearing a seat belt is the law, so teenagers who break this rule may end up getting a ticket. If your children do so, you may insist that they earn the money to pay it in addition to other consequences set out in the stay-safe contract.

Don't Drink or Ride With Others Who Drink

No teenager should be consuming alcohol, but your teenagers needs to know that they should not get in a car with others who have been drinking, either. This topic may be difficult to address, but teenagers need to know exactly what your feelings are on the subject.

You may want to offer your teens an alternative to making a poor decision in this area. For example, if they are at a party when other teens start to drink, you may allow them to call you for a no-questions-asked ride home at any time of the night. Make it as easy as possible for your teenagers to do the right thing while also encouraging them to take responsibility for their actions.

Don't Use Your Cell Phone While Driving

Distracted driving poses the deadliest threat to young drivers, so make sure that your teenagers know that it is never okay. Although some rules may be flexible depending on the situation, this one should never be. According to the Pew Research Center, one in three teens say they've texted while driving, and it only takes one time for the teen to cause a deadly crash.

Help your teens devise an action plan so that they aren't tempted to pick up if a friend calls while they're driving. For example, simply have the phone turned off before the key goes in the ignition. If your teens still struggle with the temptation, you may suggest they put it in their purse and then place the purse in the trunk until they safely arrive at their destination.

Have Clear Consequences for Breaking the Rules

Make sure that you are very clear about what the consequences will be if your kids break one of the rules in the contract while they are driving. In order to make teens take it seriously, the consequences should be serious. You may want to set the consequences so that they get more serious if your teens break a second or third rule.

If the kids break certain rules, like no cell phone use while driving, you may choose to take away their driving privileges for a month or longer. That's not likely to make your teens happy, but it may save their life or the life of someone else. The rules and consequences can be as simple or complex as you want to make them.

Finally, customize the stay-safe contract to fit your teens. If you have open communication with your teenagers and set clear rules for the road, you can help keep your kids stay safe. If you are in need of help because of an auto accident, reach out to us at Kidwell & Gallagher LTD. Our experienced attorneys can help your teens get the compensation they deserve for their injuries and pain.

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