Driving is not a right, it's a privilege. Teenage drivers need to understand, with that privilege comes many responsibilities. They are responsible for their life, the lives of their passengers, and the lives of other motorists on the road. They are responsible for maintaining their vehicle in good condition by driving responsibly.
So, how do you make teenage drivers more responsible? By making them accountable. Here are two ways to make them accountable.
Sign a Driving Behavior Contract
A contract will establish an understanding of responsibilities and rules that your teenage driver is expected to obey. The rules should be clear, negotiated and agreed upon. Along with the rules, consequences of breaking those rules should be clear and most importantly enforced. Rules can be divided into categories.
For example a category of rules that if violated would result in losing driving privileges for a very long time. Such rules should focus on:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving with someone under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Thrill seeking driving behavior
Another category of rules that if violated would result in losing driving privileges for an extended period. Such rules should focus on:
- Asking permission and driving in allowed areas
- Avoiding restricted areas and after hours driving
- Limiting the number of passengers in the car
A third category of rules that if violated would result in losing driving privileges for a shorter period. The rules in this category should focus on:
- Obeying driving laws, such as speed limit, stopping at stop signs and red lights
- Not using a cell phone, texting or anything that may distract from driving
- Wearing a Seat Belt
- Keeping the car in good condition and clean.
For a driving contract template, click here
Trust but Verify
Some of the rules established in the driving behavior contract are easy to verify whether they were violated. Other rules are much harder to verify. One tool that can help verify those rules is a GPS tracking device. By placing a GPS tracking device in the teenage driver's car, you will be able to know when a speeding violation has taken place, when the vehicle is driven to a restricted area, or driven after certain hours. You can also trace the route taken to see if there were any stops along a route that should not have taken place.
Before placing a GPS tracking system in the car, it is best to let the teenage driver know about it, and discuss the reasons for installing such device. It should be made clear that the device is there not to spy but to help enforce the rules. If setup correctly you get notifications only when the rules are violated. Such as in the case of speed limit violations, after hours driving violations and other violations. For a reliable GPS tracking device, check out Gps4Teens.
Understanding the simple fact that driving is not a right but a privilege, along with establishing a set of rules to follow and installing a GPS tracking system, will go a long way in making your teenage driver more responsible on the road.
What do you think? Let me know if I missed something or if you have anything to add in the comments section.