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Parent-Teen Driving Contracts Effective in Preventing Dangerous Driving Behaviors for New Drivers

David Mittleman

With all the new technologies available to prevent teenagers from engaging in reckless driving behaviors, it might be hard to believe that something as simple as a parent-teen contract would help curb dangerous driving. However, parents are aware that car crashes are one of the leading causes of teenage deaths and are turning to this simple method to keep their children safe behind the wheel.

The contracts are available from various sources, such as from insurance company websites or from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Furthermore, they can include everything from when teenagers can have the car or which passengers are allowed to ride along. Most importantly, the contracts include two key components: rules are modified as teens gain driving experience and prove their responsibility and penalties for violations of the rules are clear.

There is another silver lining to signing a parent-teenager driving contract: some car insurers offer a discount for doing so. According to Gary Albert, a State Farm agent in Charlottesville, VA, about 80% of his eligible clients have signed a contract. Motor vehicle crashes are the number one killer of youth ages 16-19 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That is alarming news for parents, but the research on parent-teen contracts indicates that the method is pretty promising in keeping teenage drivers safer on the roads. However, more research is still needed, since this new method of ensuring teen driving safety is so new.


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