New Driver-Parent Contract
New Driver – Parent Agreement
In Massachusetts in 1999, over 42% of 16 year old drivers had an accident resulting in over $1,000 of reported damage before turning age 17 (this was 47% in 1997, before the Junior Operator's Law took effect)! 23% of 17 year olds had a reported accident; for 18 year olds, the rate dropped to 18%. Experience matters. So does observance of the Junior Operators Law.
In recognition of these statistics, we have developed a new-driver contract below that we encourage you to copy, print and discuss with your new teen driver. It provides a discussion point for new drivers, with clear rules, and outlines important reasons for driving safely. Feel free to copy this and modify to your own needs. There's more at risk with a new driver than insurance steps and collision deductibles.
New Driver - Parent Contract
I ________________ (driver) understand that driving is a privilege involving great responsibility. It is not a right granted by the state to all 16 year olds. This agreement sets forth some of the rules under which I will maintain driving privileges. I understand further that my parent(s) first concern is my safety and well-being. This contract has been drafted in full understanding that this is the primary issue.
I ________________ (driver) for vehicle(s) ______________________________
I understand that more is at stake to developing good driving habits than the value of the vehicle. Vehicles are replaceable, but life or good health are not. Poor or inexperienced driving endangers our lives and our health, and the lives and health of others, including other drivers, passengers and pedestrians. Since the accident rate was 42% for 16-year olds I will do my very best to avoid falling into that category. I understand also that developing good driving habits early makes lifelong sense.
I agree to operate the vehicle within the law. This includes that while under the Junior Operator License restrictions, I will not allow non-family member passengers in my vehicle. I understand that other passengers create distractions that may compromise my attention to the road. Also, while under the Junior Operator restrictions, I will not operate any vehicle between 12:30 AM and 5:00 AM. Fatigue that may not be apparent to me at those hours may nevertheless inhibit my ability to operate a vehicle safely.
I agree not to operate any vehicle not specifically permitted under this agreement. Different vehicles drive differently, and until I have the experience to know how to make adjustments to my driving to suit the vehicle, I will drive only specifically permitted named vehicles, and I will not allow anyone else drive a vehicle entrusted to me. I understand that other people make personal decisions about the amount of insurance they buy, and won’t assume that a friend or friend’s family will buy insurance adequate for my or my family’s protection.
I will under no circumstance operate a vehicle while talking on a cell phone. If I must make a call, I agree to pull over to a safe parking place, and make the call from a parked position. Hands-free operation of a cell phone does not change this, as the mere action of talking while driving can take my mind from the road.
I will never operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. I understand operating under the influence severely compromises anyone's ability to drive safely, and especially an inexperienced operator.
I will obey all traffic laws, and accept full responsibility for fines, insurance surcharges, insurance deductibles and other consequences of tickets or at-fault accidents, financial or other.
Cars need ongoing maintenance. I accept responsibility for any vehicle entrusted to my control to maintain fluid levels, including oil, wiper fluid, transmission fluid, and coolant.
Seat belts will be worn by all passengers, at all times, no exceptions.
If I am in a place or situation where circumstances where violation of the above agreement could occur, and I need a ride, I agree to call my parent for a no-questions-asked pickup.
If in the sole opinion of the parent my driving does not meet standards considered safe or appropriate, I agree to give up the wheel without argument.
To pick up _________________ at any place or hour without question.
That restriction of driving privileges seriously limits _________________’s independence, and will not be imposed lightly or without good reason.
New Driver Parent