Many new teen drivers are stuck having to share a family vehicle with their parents after they get their license for the first time. This leads to parents having to set a new class of rules for the teen driver when using the family vehicle.
Today we’re featuring a list of tips and ideas to help you discuss rules that you’ll enforce when sharing a family vehicle with your teen driver.
First, discuss the vehicle that you’ll be using. For example, if your teen is driving a minivan with a back seat full of car seats and sports equipment then it might not make sense to have them drive alone in a sports car because they won’t be able to carry as many people or things. Discussing the vehicle ahead of time will also help you let your teen know which vehicle they should use when going out with friends.
Don’t Give Up Your Keys
One of the most important rules is that you don’t give up your keys. Allowing your teen driver to use the family car while allowing yourself to not have access puts everyone in a dangerous position. If you’re ever concerned about whether or not your teen is ready, it’s best to follow this rule.
You Don’t Need to Drive New Driver Everywhere
When you set out rules and restrictions for your teen driver, it’s important to understand why you’re doing so. If the reason that you want to limit where your teen goes is because they are young and inexperienced, then it isn’t necessary for you to be in the car during a practice run or going to the grocery store.
The family car is an introduction to being out on their own, and it’s important to have your teen drive with someone that they trust and feel comfortable driving with. If you’re constantly in the passenger seat for every errand then your teen will learn that there isn’t much of a difference between you and being out on their own.
Make Your Teen Driver Work For a Vehicle
If your teen wants to have a car for school and after-school activities, then show them that it’s something they’ll need to work for. This can be done by having them save up money or do additional chores around the house in order to earn their own set of keys.
Teens are going to make mistakes, which means you need to have a few rules in place that allow them the opportunity to learn from those mistakes. If your teen breaks a rule or shows bad judgment while driving with someone else then you should punish them.
The other person that was in the car is going to be held responsible, which means your teen should have their own set of consequences waiting for them when they return home. This can include having to pay a fine or losing vehicle privilege for a few weeks.
This list of points will help you get started with understanding how you’re going to discuss the rules of your family vehicle with your teen driver. It’s important that you remain safe and don’t pass up opportunities to teach them while they are still learning. Waiving off mistakes or allowing them to have free range of the car only shows them that there aren’t any consequences for poor decisions.
Above all, remain firm and remember that you’re setting boundaries so your teen can learn to make good decisions while driving. If you allow them to drive without rules or consequences then they’ll apply the same set of rules when they are on their own.