Supervising a student driver is a big and sometimes frustrating responsibility. To perform your role as best as possible, you will want to be prepared and knowledgeable about what your role entails. Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. Below read up on ten important considerations you should know before supervising a student driver.
You Need A Valid Driver's License
To be a supervised driver you must have a valid driver’s license. If your license has expired you will need to renew it, and you are not eligible if you only possess a learner’s permit.
You May Be Liable
In many states you can be found liable for the accidents or offenses that occur while you are supervising a teen or permit driver. This means you may get a speeding ticket or be financially responsible for an accident even if you are not driving.
Your blood alcohol level may not matter if you’re a passenger alongside a licensed driver, but while you are supervising your B.A.C. absolutely does matter. You cannot be intoxicated while you are supervising a student driver, even if you trust that student driver completely and he (or she) is the most responsible driver you have ever seen. To supervise you need to be in the same healthy and sober state as you would be if you were driving the car yourself.
You’ll need to ensure your teen driver knows safe driving practices, and you’ll want to reinforce those practices as you supervise. Have your teen sign a teen driver's agreement. Pay attention to moments when the student drives responsibly and commend them on that good behavior.
Make Sure You Are Eligible
Some states have age specifications for supervised drivers. Before offering to supervise a student driver, check your state’s laws to ensure that you are eligible. Some states require supervised drivers are over 18 years old while other states only allow drivers over 25 years old to supervise.
Remember To Take Away The Driver's Cellphone
In many states, it is illegal for a student driver under 18 to use a cellphone or electronic device while driving. Regardless of what the law stipulates, as a supervising driver, you should ensure that the student driver is focused on the road ahead and not distracted by cell phones or electronics. So before each car ride ask for the cellphone and store it in a glove box to avoid distracting the student driver.
Check The Mandatory Hours
Make sure you are informed of how many hours the student driver should complete. Don’t just take a student driver’s word for it!
Know The Curfew
Some states have age-specific curfews for new drivers. Make sure you know your state’s laws. For example, many states prohibit teens driving between the hours of 12 AM and 6 AM.
Be A Good Role Model
If you are supervising your teen, remember he or she models his behavior after your practices. So if you’re a good driver, the more likely they are to be a good driver too. Even if you received your license ten, twenty, thirty years prior, you should brush up on safe driving practices and drive safely. Be a good example for your supervisee.