Passing their driving test is a long-held goal of many teens. It brings them the freedom to move around without relying on their parents, opening up doors to work, concerts, trips away with friends and more.
Yet with freedom comes responsibility and risk. While the kids themselves might not understand or worry about this, their parents almost certainly will. The last thing any parent wants is to see their child getting injured or killed on the roads or injuring or killing others. Unfortunately, the teen crash rate is high, so all those scenarios are a distinct possibility.
Most parents still have some degree of control over their kids
While a parent might not be able to get their teen to obey their every command in the way they could when they were younger, they can still influence their child’s behavior and implement restrictions or punishments. Doing so with regard to driving could save a life.
Extending their child’s freedom to drive little by little is wise. For example, they could refuse to allow their child to drive at night or take a long road trip until they gain more local daytime experience. Or, only allowing them to take one friend at a time, rather than a carful of teens.
Parents can use punishments if their child fails to respect the rules or drive safely. For example, refusing to lend the car for a week if they discover their child has drunk alcohol before driving or been texting while driving.
While teenagers may not appreciate such steps at the time, they may come to realize that these were acts of love from a parent doing their best to keep their child safe, not just from themselves but from the other drivers out there.
Despite your best efforts at keeping your teen driver safe, accidents may still happen. If they do, learning more about your legal options can help.