Things just got real. Ready or not, my 16-year-old has her driver’s license. Ack! She’s gone through the proper training and practiced driving with her dad because, ahem, I was just too nervous. Then the time came. The time where she was off on her very own with the car keys and the big, big, scary world.
Does she know everything she needs to know? She claims to drive better than her dad, which is probably true BUT she doesn’t have years of experience. The experience that helps you predict what actions other drivers might take.
My mom heart panicked. I laid awake the night before her first expedition to school on her own, thinking of everything I needed to tell her in the morning.
- Do you know where the registration and insurance information is? You gotta know if you get pulled over.
- If an undercover police car turns on their lights, continue driving to a well populated area and dial 911 to tell them what you are doing. It could be a bad guy.
- When the first rains come after a dry spell, the roads will be slippery.
- Turn on your lights! Just because it’s light out doesn’t mean you don’t need your lights on. They are for OTHER people to see YOU!
- Don’t forget to turn your lights off! You don’t want a dead battery.
- It can be hard to see, when you drive in the dark and the rain, especially with oncoming headlights. Keep your eyes on the lines!
- Take it slow! Slow down on corners! Be careful on that curvy road! Don’t forget there’s no turn on red at the light by the railroad tracks! Can you park? Obey the rules of the road! Don’t get pulled over!
- The keys! Where will you keep the keys so you don’t lose them?
Goodness Gracious! I’m a nervous wreck! Maybe I should follow her around?
THEN, I got the text I’d been waiting for. Whew! She made it with just a bump over the curb!
My panic quickly turned to, ‘does she remember’? We have so much to go over. I decided to write up a contract!
New Driver’s Contract
Not only does this New Driver’s Contract spell out the new driver’s responsibilities but it also makes it very clear how incredibly awesome his/her parents are to provide the resources needed to take on the huge responsibility of driving!
We are pretty awesome, after all!
What’s In The Contract?
- I understand driving is a great opportunity yet filled with responsibility. I am excited to drive and accept the responsibilities and consequences that come with it.
- I will let you know each time I leave. I will even tell you where I am going and my expected time of return. If, for some reason, I will not be home at my estimated time, I will shoot you a text or give you a call to assuage your fears that I’ve been abducted by aliens.
- When I arrive home, I will let my presence be known with a loud ‘hello’ as I enter the door. I wouldn’t want you to think I’m a stranger breaking in, after all.
- In the off chance I am pulled over by the men in blue or receive unwanted mail in the form of a ticket, I will in no shape or form ask, suggest, or even hint that anyone other than myself should pay for said ticket.
- You/I will pay $___ to insure my driving.
- You will provide $___ for gas each month. This amount is sufficient to get back and forth to school each day. I will be responsible enough to pay for gas when I choose to gallivant, get a job, give rides to friends, or use my vehicle for anything other than going to school.
- Speaking of friends, I hereby declare I will not give friends a ride until my probationary period of six months is up. After the six month mark, I will ask permission to transport friends and insist they ask their parents permission to ride with me as well.
- This is my car to drive and never would I ever let a friend or anyone other than family drive the vehicle that has been entrusted to me.
- Talking on the phone or texting while driving is just plain stupid. I won’t do that.
- Driving while under the influence is incredibly stupid too. I don’t want to die so I won’t do it. I also would never ride in a vehicle where the driver is impaired. Nope! Not gonna do it. I will call my awesome parents if I ever find myself in such a predicament.
- Road conditions contribute to my speed. I understand I may need to drive UNDER the posted speed limit if road conditions dictate. Examples of this might be crazy rain, fog, snow, ice, and a Zombie Apocalypse.
- My vehicle will be kept reasonably clean on the inside and out by none other than myself! I can wash a car like nobody’s business and I know where to find the shop vac.
- I will pay attention to the needs of my car and let you know when regular maintenance is warranted. I’m thrilled you are willing to pay for maintenance of the vehicle I drive.
- If I choose to break a rule, I understand my driving privileges will be revoked.
- As a matter of fact, I understand that my right to drive may be withdrawn at any time for any reason.
- My parents ROCK! I’m thrilled they are giving me the resources to drive and I am incredibly grateful! I will show my gratitude by taking school seriously and working hard to get great grades!
Whew! I think my bases are covered. It’s time to diffuse some calming oil blends and realize my little girl is growing up.
Go print yourself a copy of the New Driver’s Contract!