In my November column at the La Jolla Light, I covered a recent SUV rollover accident in La Jolla involving 16 teens and several injuries. According to reports, the teens were packed into the vehicle with suspicion of driving while intoxicated. To increase safety awareness, I urged parents to download and implement our FREE parent-teen contract.

Recently, NBC 7 San Diego followed up on the accident while also raising questions on restrictions surrounding California’s provisional driver’s license – and the lack of parental knowledge.

Teens must abide by the following rules during the first year of their initial licensure:

  • No driving between the hours of 11PM and 5AM
  • Passengers are not allowed unless the teen is accompanied by a licensed driver over the age of 25

Teens that violate restrictions may lose their driver’s license.

According to the DMV, provisional licenses should reduce the incidence of accidents among teen drivers. The restrictions follow on the heels of recent statistics that show a dramatic increase in accidents among young drivers during late night and early morning hours.

Ultimately, it boils down to parental enforcement when it comes to enforcing restrictions and thereby reducing the risk of accidents. As I covered in my recent column, a parent-teen contract can:

CREATE BOUNDARIES. It’s no secret that teens thrive on a boundary-rich environment (even though they may protest). Use your parent-teen contract to establish and enforce rules for your new teen driver.

ESTABLISH CONSEQUENCES. Teens have a tendency to explain poor decision-making instead of taking responsibility. But when clear guidelines and consequences are established in writing, teens won’t have an excuse – and that can lead to better decision-making when it comes to getting behind the wheel.

KEEP OUR ROADS SAFER. When teens drive safely, our roadways are also safer. The truth is that we share the road with all types of drivers. From beginners to novices, expertise behind the wheel can vary. But it goes without saying that teen drivers are far less experienced than older drivers and therefore need all the guidance they can get to make good decisions behind the wheel.

While a parent-teen contract may seem seemingly small, it can make a difference – even if it’s one saved life. And that’s all the difference in the world.

To download our FREE parent-teen contract right now, click here.

Parents are also encouraged to find out more about the Smart Start program.