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Driving Agreement

Published on: February 26, 2007

Driving Agreement
Initial each point below to indicate that you have read and understand it and agree to abide by the conditions stated:

General Principles

____ I recognize that driving is a privilege, not a right. The State grants this privilege to me, after determining that I meet the basic legal requirements for a license.  However, it is also a privilege granted to me by my parents, who are under no obligation to do so, and who may withdraw the privilege at any time. Because I am a minor, my parents remain responsible for much of my behavior. I understand that I will only be allowed to drive when I am willing to abide by the rules and regulations established by my parents.

____ I will abide by rules established by my parents and outlined in this agreement. I recognize these are for my protection and the protection of others.

____ I recognize that driving a car is a very serious matter. I recognize that automobile accidents are the leading cause of death of people 16-20 years old, and that more teenagers die due to motor vehicle accidents than any other single cause. Recklessness or errors that I make while driving could kill or hurt me, kill or hurt passengers in my car, and/or kill or hurt people in other cars and pedestrians.  Apart from the risk of death is the risk of injury to the teen driver, passengers, and others. Accidents can result in financial burdens to a family, such as in increased insurance and car repair costs.    

____ I have been informed of the following facts and information:

  • 17-year old drivers are 6 times as likely to have a motor vehicle accident (MVA) as are people in the general population of drivers, and 16-year old drivers are 20 times as likely to have an MVA. 
  • Distractions -- such as eating, talking on a cell-phone, friends and loud music -- are the leading causes of risk and accidents in teen drivers.  Statistics have shown that teen accidents most often happen as a result of inattention to the road, as a result of speed, and happen more often at night.
  • Teenagers tend to overestimate their driving abilities, take more risks, and are more likely to be overwhelmed by peer pressure and their emotions than any other driving group.
  • Motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) account for about 1/3 of deaths of people in my age group, and that people aged 16 to 20 have the highest fatality rate due to MVAs of any other age group. For every teenager killed, about 100 have injuries that are not fatal.  MVAs are the leading cause of disability related to head and spinal cord injuries

____ I understand that my parents and I must be able to reach a written agreement in order for me to be permitted to drive.   We will review this agreement and perhaps make changes to it on ________________ or earlier if my parents and/or I wish to do so.
General Rules and Agreements:  
Violation of these rules and agreements will result in suspension of driving privileges, the duration of which will be determined by my parents. Items in bold are most important and will result in more severe penalties if violated.

____ I will abide by laws regulating driving, especially the following new licensing requirements related to Intermediate Driver Licenses:

  • No passengers under the age of 20 in my car for the first 6 months of driving except for family members
  • No late-night driving between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. unless a parent or other driver 25 years or older (and approved by my parents) is in the car
  • After six months of driving, up to three teenage passengers may be in the car in addition to family members. (This will be subject to my parents’ approval based upon my first six-month driving track record.)

____ I will remember to carry my driver’s license with me at all times when I am driving, and I understand that I must have registration and insurance certificates in the car at all times as well.

____ I will remember to carry my cell phone with me (not turned on) as a resource in the event of an emergency, and to keep my parents informed of my plans and where I am.

____ I will observe and abide by posted speed limits. I will never exceed posted speed limits by a significant amount. Nor will I chronically exceed posted speed limits by even small amounts.

____ I understand that the car I drive is the property of my parents. I must ask permission to drive a family car each time I drive, to drive to specific destinations.  (Exceptions to this rule will be given for regularly scheduled transportation to school, work, or other regular events.) Upon request, I will discuss with my parents the route I plan to take. I understand that my parents may make determinations on occasion, based on weather or other conditions, to not let me drive.

____ I will be certain that my parents know where I am, and observe all of their rules regarding a curfew. I will comply with my parents’ requests to call them to let them know I have arrived at certain destinations safely. I will inform my parents regarding unscheduled stops or side trips. I will use good judgment in letting my parents know where I am and when I will arrive at home. I will never rush home just to make a curfew on time. I understand that my parents would rather I be late than rush to make a curfew.

____ I will follow all school rules regarding use of automobiles and leaving the campus.

____ I will not permit any other person to drive the car.  I understand that there are serious legal liability implications for anyone not authorized by my parents to drive the car.

____ I will respect weather and road conditions, slowing down as needed for safety. I recognize that I am an inexperienced driver and have not driven in all conditions, such as ice, snow, fog etc., and will not drive in such conditions if I don’t feel prepared, safe or comfortable.

____ Knowing that judgment and driving skills are altered by emotions, I will not drive when I am upset or angry. Under these conditions, I will contact my parents for transportation, and I reserve the right to maintain my privacy regarding personal matters.

____ It is my responsibility to understand how to safely operate and maintain the car I drive. I will read and become familiar with the owners manual, and make sure I know how to de-fog windows, adjust mirrors, operate all lighting, and other basic operations. I will also keep the car reasonably clean and maintained. This will include regular maintenance with respect to gasoline level, window cleaning, tire inflation and oil level. I will alert my parents to any problems, warning lights, strange sounds etc. I will also be responsible for limiting/managing eating by others in the car and make sure garbage will be disposed up and not left in the car.

____ When I am allowed to have passengers, I will not allow my passengers to behave in such a way as to damage the car or distract me while driving. I will not drive passengers who are difficult to manage

____ I will not pick up hitchhikers.

____ I will wear my seatbelt and shoulder harness at all times and I will not drive unless all passengers are wearing seatbelts. I will not drive with more passengers than operating seatbelts.

____ I will not ride as a passenger in a car with a driver who is not legally permitted to drive me, and I will always wear a seatbelt in another driver’s car, and will not engage in any behavior which can distract the driver.

____ I will make good choices about who I ride with and chose not to ride again with someone I do not feel comfortable or safe driving with.

____ I will not allow smoking in the car.

____ I will use good judgment regarding use of the car radio, including keeping the radio at a reasonable volume so that I will be able to hear sounds outside the car, such as emergency vehicles, etc. I will not change stations while the car is moving.

____ I will not use a cell phone or any other electronic equipment while driving. I will pull over safely to the side of the road when necessary to deal with emergency or necessary operation of a cell phone, or other electronic equipment.

____ I will not eat or drink while driving.

____ I am aware that accidents are more likely to happen when I rush, and that I am more likely to rush when I am late.  I agree not to rush when driving, even if I may or will be late to my destination.

____ I will not allow alcohol or illegal drugs in the car and I will not drive for 24 hours after any use in any amount of alcohol or a “substance” (defined as any drug or chemical including but not limited to marijuana, pills that are not prescribed to me, inhalants, injectable drugs etc.) that may alter my ability to drive. 

____ I will not ride as a passenger with any driver who has used alcohol or any substance, as defined above, in any amount.

____ If I find myself in a situation as described in above two items, I will contact my parents or another adult to arrange for safe transportation.  

____ I will not engage in any thrill-seeking behavior while driving, nor will I drive with someone doing the same.  I will not drive for recreation, or play around with a car for fun.

____ I will inform my parents about any and all accidents I am involved in as well as any encounters with police. Being forthcoming, as opposed to my parents hearing second-hand about any incidents, will be taken into consideration in determining consequences. I understand that if I am in an accident, I am required to provide contact and insurance information to others involved, and should request the same. If I am involved in an accident, I will write down the license numbers and descriptions of the other cars involved.

____ Tickets and moving violations may result in suspension of my driving privileges for a period to be determined by my parents.

____ My parents have no obligation to pay my fines for driving-related tickets. I will make financial contributions as follows:

  •  I will pay for all traffic tickets and fines I incur.
  • I may be asked to pay for part or all of any increase in insurance caused by my driving record.
  • I may be asked to pay for part or all of out-of pocket expenses --depending on the circumstances -- caused by any accidents determined to be my fault.
  • I will contribute to gasoline costs that are over and above approved family errands, my regular school commute and other family approved driving.

____ I agree to run errands and provide transportation, when permitted, to other family members at the request of my parents. Fulfilling these obligations is a condition of my use of a car. Sometimes these responsibilities will override my own desires and interests in using the car.

____ I agree that I must be responsible to drive safely and that my parents must believe I am responsible in order to allow me to drive. They may, therefore, take into account how I handle my general responsibilities, including schoolwork and household duties. I will also maintain a generally good attitude, good conduct and good will. I understand that my parents may suspend my driving privileges if they judge that I am failing to show responsibility. I have a right to ask that my parents’ expectations of me in this regard be clear.

____ I acknowledge that I will only be permitted to drive a car when my current academic responsibilities and standards are maintained. My parents may choose to suspend certain driving privileges should these responsibilities and standards “slide.”
By signing this agreement below, I agree to abide by the rules outlined in this contract and accept the consequences and penalties if I do not. I recognize my parents' authority in deciding if I may drive, and that that authority is final as long as they are responsible for me.

_________________________________    _________________  (date)

_________________________________    _________________  (date)

_________________________________    _________________  (date)

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