Getting behind the wheel of a car comes with a responsibility that starts even before you put your foot on the gas. If you have teenagers approaching driving age, start lessons early that include all aspects of driving that go beyond just knowing the rules of the road.
You may not require your teens to pay for their own car and insurance, but they should understand some of the financial responsibility that goes along with car ownership. This may involve paying a portion of what you pay. For example, you could require your teenager to pay 10-20% of the insurance bill or to pay for the first tank of gas each month. Even this little bit will give him or her a taste of what car ownership is like money-wise. Teens who see some of their hard-earned money from working as a lifeguard or babysitter go towards the car's upkeep may be less inclined to drive recklessly or drive aimlessly. Set out financial rules upfront so your children know what they will be responsible for paying. For instance, you might agree to handle the cost of a cracked windshield, but they will be on the hook for a remote key replacement Germantown MD.
Set expectations early on how your teen should handle safety issues. For example, in the beginning, limit the number of passengers in the car. After every six months of safe driving, you can add one more passenger to the car. Install a tracking app on your child's phone, and then check it against where they say they will be. This isn't about not trusting your teen; it's about your teen building trust with you. Offer a 24/7 pick-up service with no questions asked. There may be times when your new driver doesn't feel comfortable getting behind the wheel. Give them a safe "no judgment" way out, so they won't hesitate to call if they feel uneasy.
Teaching teens to drive is fraught with angst for both parent and child. The best lessons are those that prepare them for the whole responsibility of driving.
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