Drive with Care

Did you know?

Most families have family rules around teen driving. Teens with strong family rules have fewer crashes.


The state of Florida has set laws for young drivers. Parents need to determine their own family rules in addition to the state laws. Make sure both sets of rules are clear from the start.

Driving Rules for Your Family

Enforce a passenger limit - For 16 and 17-year-olds, carrying just one passenger increases the crash risk by about 50 percent .

Enforce safety belt use for your teen and all passengers - Florida's Primary Seatbelt Law requires that all drivers & passengers riding in the front seat wear a safety belt. In addition, all passengers under 18, no matter where they sit in the vehicle must be wearing safety belts, if not, the DRIVER will be issued a ticket for ALL violations and be required to pay ALL fines! That can get pretty expensive!

Consider setting an earlier driving curfew - especially for the first six months. Set clear expectations, and ensure your teen obeys the state laws. In Florida the curfew (law) is:

  • For the first three months after receiving a Learner’s License, driving is limited to daylight hours only. After three months, hours are extended to 10 pm.

  • Between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. after receiving an Intermediate License if 16 years old *

  • Between 5 a.m. and 1 a.m. after receiving an Intermediate License if 17 years old *
  • *If driving during these times must be accompanied by a licensed driver at least 21 years old occupying the closest seat to the right of the driver, or be traveling to or from work.

  • Allowed at all hours of the day without a licensed passenger requirement after receiving Full Privilege License at age 18 years and older.

Require a full report
Require information about each trip before your teen leaves, including where they are going, with whom and when they will return.

We strongly suggest that you require your teen driver to check in each time they drive by answering these questions:

  1. Where are you going?
  2. Who will your passengers be?
  3. When will you return?
  4. What is the weather expected to be like?
  5. What route will you take?

Prohibit driving or riding with someone who has used alcohol or drugs.

Limit distractions.
New drivers really need to focus. Minimize things that might draw their attention away from driving. Consider prohibiting:
     Cell phone usage.
     Eating and drinking.
     Adjusting the radio/CD player.
     Passenger "horseplay."

Don't let your teen drive when they're tired. Sleep-related crashes are most common in young people. Teach your teen to recognize when he or she is too tired to drive.

Don't let your teen drive when they're overly emotional. Tell your teen not to drive when he or she is highly emotional, regardless of whether they are angry, happy or sad.

Check in! Purposeful Driving

Purposeful driving is driving for a reason to a specific destination. Teen driving is most dangerous when done without a specific purpose or destination.

Limiting your teen to purposeful driving will help keep them safe - as well as help cut down on pouring dollars down your gas tank.

The Parent-Teen Driving Agreement

Create - and have your teen and you both sign - a contract.

Create a written contract with your teen, one that grants more driving privileges as your teen continues to follow rules and gain experience behind the wheel.

If they drive irresponsibly, they lose their driving privileges.

Set clear consequences for breaking the law and family rules, such as:

If your teen is untruthful about where she or he was going in the car ... they lose their driving privileges for _______ weeks/months.

Impose Consequences for Violations

The State of Florida's laws and your family's rules are meant to keep your teen driver - and everyone else on the road - safe. But they won't work unless they are enforced. Law enforcement will do our part to enforce penalties for violations of state laws, but you must do yours. Enforce consequences for violations.

Next: Driving Guide/Log

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