My brother aptly told me once that “Parenthood is living in a constant state of fear.” First, you worry about a kid falling, eating something that kid isn’t supposed to eat, or getting sick. A little later, it’s bullying and fitting in, and so on and so forth.
By the time children are in their teens, one of the biggest concerns becomes driving and expectations behind the wheel. This week is National Teen Driver Safety Week, and as such, Southern California’s Automobile Association has issued a customizable teen driver contract to figure out with his or her parent or parents to set the rules of the road.
“Motor vehicle crashes continue to be the leading cause of deaths for teens,” said the Auto Club’s Community Affairs and Traffic Safety Manager Anita Lorz Villagrana in a statement. “Crashes take more teen lives that homicide, suicide and cancer. To help families encourage safe driving by their children, the Auto Club has customized a parent-teen driver contract following the driving learning limits of California’s Graduated Driving Licensing Law.”
Villagrana added: “An agreement communicates that driving is a privilege that your family takes seriously,” she said. “It’s important that parents and teens share a clear understanding of driving expectations. Written expectations help parents enforce standards consistently.”
Teen driving contracts generally help establish numbers of passengers, curfews, and habits behind the wheel. Parents are recommended to practice what they preach and set a good example. Some automakers use the contract method in their teen driving classes, such as Toyota’s annual Teen Driving Expectations program. Other automakers like Mercedes-Benz and Ford have similar teen driver programs.
Those will hopefully help parents establish a little peace of mind in the midst of years and years of advanced aging put on by worrying about their kids.
More information and the contract can be found at AAA Southern California.