Teen Driving Conversation Guide
Building a guideline to safe driving.
Before a teen driver is handed the keys to the car, it's a good idea to lay out some basic rules—and the consequences for breaking those rules. Every family is different, but typical topics include repercussions for speeding, the number of passengers allowed in the car and how late at night a teen is allowed to drive.
Liberty Mutual has tips to help parents pave the way for safety while their teens are behind the wheel.
- Set rules and enforce them: Our research1 found that 30 percent of parents who don't always enforce consequences say it's because it's hard to monitor their teens. If a rule is broken, an effective consequence should encourage teens to change their behavior. It's recommended that the consequence is connected to the original behavior and is both task- and time-specific, such as taking away driving privileges for one week.
- Experience doesn't always equal safe: Our research found that 36 percent of teens say their parents claim more experience as the justification for these bad behaviors. No matter how many years they have been driving, it is important for parents to model good driving behavior and follow the rules of the road. If parents aren’t following rules such as driving over the speed limit, checking social media or texting while driving, the parent isn't being a good role model for their teen and are demonstrating that rules aren't important.
- Encourage open communication: Parents should speak with their teens about safe driving practices beginning at a young age, before the teen even starts driving. Liberty Mutual encourages parents and teens to use the Teen Driving Conversation Guide as a conversation starter. This tool covers important safety issues and is an easy roadmap for parents and teens alike to start a discussion while upholding family driving rules.
- For Parents/Guardians: Having a conversation with your new teen driver provides an opportunity for you to share your own driving experiences, your concerns about safety and your ideas for ground rules. Keep the agreement accessible so that you can update the rules together as your teen progresses as a driver.
- For Teen Drivers: Whether you're planning to get a permit or are already on the road, use this guide to demonstrate your commitment to safe and responsible driving. Your signed agreement will earn your parents' trust and help give them peace of mind when you're on your own.
For more tips on coaching your teen driver, visit our how-to series in