Keep Teens Driving on the Straight and Narrow

Having clear-cut rules about the family car and/or driving privileges in general seems like a smart plan for teenagers. After all, most of our parents just tell us to be careful and then impose restrictions after the fact for some indiscretion. Having to guess what the family rules are sometimes can be compared to a weather report – partly cloudy.

There is this recent news story about parents setting rules before we get into the car. Well, of course, we would love to be free to do what we want, but at least if we knew the rules in advance, we could not grumble about not knowing that we did something wrong! And parents – be consistent with us teenagers ok? We’re confused enough as it is without the parental unit changing their minds.

Some parents really think about our driving and come up with a lot of do’s and don’ts for us while others sort of make it up as they go along. Parents take the advice of this teenager – we will push every limit possible when it comes to our driving privileges so you better really, really think about the rules you want to set!

Here are some of the most common rules that we teenagers are familiar with: obeying speed limits, not having more passengers in the car than allowed, and no drinking. However, there are a few things that we are going to do unless you tell us or catch us doing them. We are likely going to use our cell phones and drive at the same time. The same goes for eating or drinking a soda. We have also been known to change the radio station with one hand or text message a friend behind the wheel of a car. Many times, parents do not think of these things and these are what can get us in trouble.

Now other teenagers are probably yelling at me for telling all our secrets, but come on! Why get in trouble for those same things later when we can avoid doing them now. Besides, no matter how much the parental unit may rain on our parades, they mean well and only want the best for us. Add the fatality record of teenager drivers and the parents can definitely back up their case. Why don’t we give them a break for a change and actually follow the rules – well, these rules anyway.

This post is an excerpt from a recent edition of the Safe Driving Teen Monthly Bulletin. Each month the National Safety Commission publishes the bulletin for teens and parents designed to improve teen driver behavior, attitude, skills, and experience. Subscription Details