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Setting Consequences for Your Teen’s Poor Driving

Teenage drivers can be scary, and I for one definitely pay attention to them when they’re on the road. You really have to be alert around teen drivers, not that that differs from any other driver. Teen drivers are often inexperienced, and things can literally happen in a split second. As they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Now when it comes to my own teen driver, we’ve had countless talks about the rules of the road, as well as personal driving rules for him made by my husband and myself as parents. Rules are a part of life, and when it comes to teenage drivers, I strongly believe that rules definitely have to be set in place from the start.

Like most other teenagers, my son enjoys hanging out with his friends. We give him quite a bit of freedom to do so but there are certain rules that he has to follow when it comes to driving with his friends.

  • No more than three friends are allowed in the car with him.
  • Any passenger in his car must have permission from their parent, to be in that vehicle.
  • Wearing seat belts is a must, not an option.
  • No reckless driving just to be “cool”. He should never have to prove anything to anyone.

Aside from those rules, we encourage him to obey traffic laws and general courtesy rules of the road. We’ve discussed tailgating and thankfully it annoys him as much as it does me, so he tends not to do that. Speeding is an issue too. I’ve talked about reckless driving and the dangers of it, not just for him but for other people on the road too.

My husband and I have had conversations with our son about poor driving behavior and have discussed some of the consequences involved.

What happens if he gets a ticket?

Police officers are aware of teen drivers, and I’m sure they expect them to do something wrong as young and naïve drivers. That’s why it’s important for us to make sure that our son realizes that he must obey the rules of the road so that he doesn’t get pulled over.

However, it could happen and if it does, he will likely get a ticket for some violation or another. Any ticket that he gets will most definitely be his responsibility. He will need to pay the fine himself and also suffer any consequences at home, depending on the nature of the ticket. While it’s never happened yet, consequences could include extra chores, being grounded or even losing driving privileges for a period of time. The punishment would definitely depend on the nature of the ticket and my hope would be that it teaches a lesson not to do it again.

What if he got in an accident.

One of my greatest fears is my son being involved in an accident. First of all, let’s theoretically assume that he isn’t injured because I don’t even want to think about that scenario. These are the consequences that I believe would be appropriate if he were to be involved in an accident.

  • If he got into a small fender bender that wasn’t his fault, he would lose his driving privileges for a set amount of time and also have to pay the insurance deductible.
  • Now let’s turn things around and say that he caused an accident. The consequence would definitely be more severe in that scenario and he would surely be grounded for a specific amount of time. He would lose all driving privileges for a duration of time that we saw fit and would have to take care of any insurance deductibles, ticket, etc. on his own so that he thoroughly understood the consequences.

Need help taking to your teen driver about rules and consequences? Here is a handy guide that help you start the conversation- Welcoming Your Teen Driver.