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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Teen Drivers
Any of you truckers out there have teens that are about to get their driver’s license?  Check out the Teen Driving Contract model below.  As our daughter got closer to the day she would get her license, I became increasingly worried about handing over the keys to one of our vehicles. After looking around the web, I came across this contract, as seen below.  Thanks to Dale Wisely PhD. The link to his web site is shown below.
I thought, what a great idea, at least our teen will not have an excuse that she would be unaware of the consequences of their actions!  You may want to give this a try.
Our daughter did have a fender-bender in the snow and eventually totalled out a vehicle while talking on a cell phone, so the jury is out on whether it will do any good!
Good Luck and I don’t envy any of you with teen drivers!

Click the Read More tab below to see contract example, which you could cut and paste & make your own.

Dale Wisely, Ph.D.
D r i v i n g  Ag r e e m e n t
General Principles
The new driver must initial each point to show it is read and understood:
____ Permission to drive is not a legal right.  It is 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 I will only be allowed to drive when I am willing to abide by the rules and regulations established by my parents.
I recognize that driving a car is an extremely serious matter.  I recognize that...
____ Automobile accidents are the leading cause of death of people 16-20 years old.
____ I am more likely to die in an auto accident than from any other cause.
____ Recklessness or errors that I make while driving could kill or hurt me, passengers in the car I drive, and/ people in other cars and pedestrians.  Among those that could be victims of my driving mistakes are:   Infants, children, my friends, my family members, parents of children, and many others.
____ I will abide by laws regulating driving.  I will observe and abide by posted speed limits.  I will abide by rules established by my parents. I recognize these are for my protection and the protection of others.
____ I understand that the car I drive is property of my parents.  Even a car that is a “gift” to me is still, legally, the property of my parents. I drive the car only with permission.
____ I understand that my parents and I must be able to reach a written agreement in order for me to be permitted to drive.  I understand that the terms of this agreement may be changed based on how I handle the freedom and responsibility of driving.  The rules will get stricter if my parents judge that I am not doing well.  It will get somewhat less strict if my parents judge that I am doing well.
____I must study and be aware of the terms of this contract. “Forgetting” any part of the contract is not an excuse.
  • _____If my parents deny me permission to drive, for whatever reason, I will abide by this and give them my keys immediately with no argument or debate.  I may ask to meet with my parent(s) no earlier than 24 hours later to talk about it.    If I drive in defiance of my parents’ order not to drive, my parents may call the police.
  • _____If I drive in defiance of my parents’ order not to drive, this contract is cancelled and no driving will be permitted for at least one year.
  • ______I will not leave the scene of an accident, no matter how minor, without the permission of police officers and/or my parents.
RULES-Category A
These rules, if violated, will lead to indefinite suspension of independent driving privileges.  I understand that I may lose my independent driving privileges indefinitely if any one of these is violated even once.  
  • No alcohol use/abuse. As a minor, it is illegal for me to drink alcohol. I understand that my parents do not permit me to drink. There is a Zero tolerance policy on alcohol. 
  • No drug use/abuse. "Substance” means any drug or chemical (including but not limited to marijuana, pills, inhalants, and other drugs) which would be expected by my parents to alter my ability to drive. There is no acceptable amount of any substance of this kind.  If I use any substances, I will not drive.  There is a Zero tolerance policy. This rule may include medications prescribed to me or over-the-counter medications.  In the cases of legal medications, I will inform my parents of any such medications I have taken so that they can judge whether taking these medications will interfere with my driving ability. Furthermore:
    • No riding with others who have used alcohol or drugs. I will not ride as a passenger with any driver who I know or have reason to suspect may have used alcohol or any substance as defined above.
    • Alternatives to riding with others who have used alcohol or drugs. If I find myself in a situation as described above, I will contact my parents or another designated adult to arrange for transportation.  I understand that my parents will appreciate that behavior and will make every effort to avoid asking me a lot of questions about it.
    • No alcohol or drugs in car.  I will not allow alcohol or illegal drugs in the car. This includes over the counter medications (cough medicines, etc.) when I have reason to believe someone has them in their possession for purposes of abuse. My parents will hold me responsible for any alcohol or drugs in the car, even if they don’t belong to me or it is the fault of someone riding in my car.
  • No thrill-seeking/stunts. I will not engage in any thrill-seeking behavior while driving.  I will not drive for recreation.  Driving too fast, racing/speeding, and any kind of "stunt" involving a car is NOT ALLOWED. Driving is for transportation ONLY.
  • No driving with passengers who are not wearing seatbelts. This includes ANY driving of any distance with more passengers than the vehicle is designed to carry.
  • Informing parents about accidents & police encounters. I will inform my parents about any and all tickets, accidents, and encounters with police (including warnings.)
  • No firearms or other weapons.  I will not drive with any guns or other deadly weapons in the vehicle.
No driving with passengers who are not wearing seatbelt. This includes ANY driving any distance with more passengers than the vehicle is designed to carry. 
RULES-Category B
Violations will lead to suspension of driving privileges for up to three months.
  • Permission to Drive. 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, etc.  I will ask permission to drive to specific locations and will discuss the route planned.  I will be certain that my parents know where I am.  I will not make unscheduled stops or side trips. (Note:  This is one of the stricter aspects of this contract and so parents should consider renegotiating this at the first review of the contract, which we recommend occur after 4 to 6 weeks of driving.)
  • Curfew. My parents will decide on my curfew time. I may not drive after 12:00 midnight. This is a Utah state law for persons less than 17 years of age. My curfew is to be taken SERIOUSLY (minimum 1 month suspension of driving privileges if I violate).
  • Limit on passengers.  (See note #6.)
    • First six months. During the first six months of driving, I will not be allowed to have any passengers (except IMMEDIATE family).  This is required by Utah state law.  
    • After six months, and for the first year, I may not have more than one passenger. I must ask for specific permission for exceptions.
    • After one year, this will be revisited.
  • Off-Limit Areas.  I will not drive on streets, highways, or in areas that are designated as off-limits. I understand that greater flexibility in these matters will come as I gain experience and show that I am honoring the agreement.  For the time being, the following roads and areas are to be avoided:
  • No one else drives vehicle.  I will not permit any other person to drive the car without my parents’ specific permission for each specific case. 
  • Car audio system. For the first month I drive, I will not have the car stereo on.  After the first two months, after clearing this with my parents, I will be allowed to have the stereo on but will make no adjustments to it other than changing the volume while driving.  Under no circumstances will I change a CD or cassette while driving.  I will change these only when stopped or pulled over.
  • TEXTING, CELL PHONES, MP3 Players, GPS System.  I will not use cell phones, MP3 players, or any other electronic device while driving.  I will pull over for other operations of cell phones and electronic equipment. 
No texting while driving. No reading, writing, or sending text messages. No use of cell phones while in motion. No adjustment of MP3 player when driving!
Violations may lead to suspension of driving privileges for up to six weeks.
  • Weather/road conditions.  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.
  • Emotional upset.  Knowing that judgment and driving skills are altered by emotions, I will not drive when I am upset or angry.  If upset, I will contact my parents for transportation and I reserve the right to maintain my privacy regarding personal matters. My parents agree not to ask a lot of unnecessary questions.
  • Taking care of vehicle.  It is my responsibility to protect the car I drive. I will keep it reasonably clean and maintained.  I have some specific responsibilities regarding the maintenance of the car as noted below
  • Passenger behavior. I will not allow my passengers to behave in such a way as to distract me while driving.
  • Seatbelts. I will wear my seatbelt at all times and require all passengers to wear them.
  • Friends ride only with their parents’ permission.  When transporting my friends, I will be reasonably sure that they have their parents' permission to ride with me.
  • Thank You For Not Smoking. I will not allow smoking in the car.  I will not smoke in the car.
  • No eating & driving.  I will not eat while driving.
  • No rushing.  Accidents are more likely to happen when I rush.  I am more likely to rush when I leave late.  Therefore, my parents reserve the right to not allow me to drive unless I leave by a time they specify.  For example, if my parents tell me that I must allow 20 minutes to get to something that starts at 7:00, I may not leave later than that.  In such cases, my parents will attempt to provide alternative transportation, to whatever extent possible.
  • Attention to driving.   I will not do things while driving that distracts me from the road.  No applying makeup, getting things in and out of a purse or back-pack, etc. 
  • Tickets and moving violations will result in suspension of my driving privileges for a period to be determined by my parents.     My parents have no obligation to pay my fines for driving-related tickets.
  • Financial.  I will make certain financial contributions to the purchase of the car, maintenance of the car, and/or insurance.  My contributions are currently as follows
  • Family obligations. I agree to provide transportation to family members at the directive of my parents.  Fulfilling these obligations is a condition of my use of a car.  Sometimes these responsibilities will override my own desires and interests in using the car.
  • Changes in this agreement.  I understand that this contract will be made more strict at any time my parents believe that is the best thing to do.  I understand that if I consistently abide by these rules that my parents will work with me to make the contract less strict as I gain experience.  However, I understand that--bottom line--it is my parents' choice and responsibility to change or not change the contract. We will review this agreement and perhaps make changes to it on ______________(date) or earlier if my parents or I wish to do so.
Summary:  I agree to abide by the rules in this contract and I accept the consequences and penalties if I do not.  I recognize my parents' authority in deciding if I may drive.  That authority is final until I am an adult living independent of my parents. 
DRIVER_________________________________    _________________  (date)
PARENT(s)/Guardian(s) ___________________    _________________  (date)
Rev. 11/2008

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