How to Create a Driving Safety Plan for Teens Together With Your Child

As your teen reaches driving age, you’re probably filled with increased anxiety over how to navigate this change in their life (and in your household). While you don’t want to take away the excitement and independence that comes with receiving a driver’s license, you want to ensure they understand appropriate driving behavior and, above all, how to stay safe.

When your teen receives, or is about to receive, their license, consider working together to come up with a driving safety plan—a game plan that outlines the rules and safety procedures they need to know as they build up real-life experience out on the road.

Creating Your Plan

Develop rules together 

Even after receiving their graduated driver’s license, teens’ driving knowledge is still limited to what they’ve learned during their six months with a learner’s permit. To keep them safe as they continue learning, you should sit down with your teen to co-develop household driving rules, such as curfews and passenger limits. 

List emergency procedures

In case your teen finds themselves in an uncomfortable or dangerous situation, you want them to know how to handle it safely. Sit down with your teen and brainstorm different emergency situations and then define what steps they need to take. For example, how would your teen handle a tire blowout or engine failure? 

Decide on emergency contacts

Alongside your emergency procedures, you and your teen should decide on phone numbers they should call during an emergency. Remember: different contacts may make sense in different situations. If your teen was in a car accident, 911 would be the primary contact. If your teen was at risk of getting in a car with a drunk driver, you would likely be the first person they call. 

Enforcing Your Plan

Model good habits

If your teen sees bad driving habits, there’s a good chance they’ll start modeling yours or forming their own. From never drinking and driving to always wearing your seatbelt, you should follow all safety laws in addition to your own household rules.

Create rules and procedures for you too

To further foster a safety-first mindset, consider developing rules for you as a parent. This might include a promise to maintain a safe vehicle for your teen and a list of procedures that you’ll follow if your teen finds themselves in an unsafe situation.  

Define consequences

A safety plan shouldn’t be about punishing your teen, but it’s important to teach accountability and convey the seriousness of safe driving. Work with your teen to establish fair consequences for any violations of the rules in your safety plan.    

Need help teaching your teen all the safety rules of the road? Our expert driving instructors are here to ensure they learn the tips and skills they need to feel safe. Contact us to learn more about our driver’s education courses.