There great trepidation on the part of most parents when a child become eligible to drive. But, there can also be a great sense of relief that our exhausting days of taxi services have come to an end.
The degree of trepidation will be in equal measure to the degree you have confidence in your teen. We can’t control other drivers, but we can fairly and quickly assess if our own children apply common sense to their new driving habits. We can determine if they understand the philosophy of being a “defensive driver” and how well they anticipate the behavior of others on the road, which will then allow us to make better judgments about what we will and will not allow them to do as new drivers.
In addition to the emotional journey, a new driver also means a potentially large financial commitment. A family’s insurance premium can jump substantially when they add a new teen and many wonder how to have their child best shoulder some of the responsibility. A good rule of thumb is to require some form participation from your teen, however humble that may be. This does not have to be a monetary contribution, but perhaps they need to maintain a certain GPA or help care for the car in some fashion, like washing it once a week. Regardless of the specifics, it is best to keep your teen accountable to some rules, be they economic or time commitments.
Your teen will become a better driver with experience. Allow them to earn their way but make sure they understand their responsibilities will increase if they are part of any incident that drives premiums up or leads to repair costs. That is both fair and will encourage safe driving habits.