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As a parent, you'd do anything — ANYTHING — to prevent your child from dying in a car wreck. Right? Of course. So are you doing all you can? 

Teaching your child to be safe on the road is your job. Your teen will listen if you talk with him about safe-driving habits and gradually phase-in his driving privileges. Do you doubt it? Scientific research shows that 60 percent of high school students say their parents are the biggest influence on their driving. Young drivers whose parents talk with them about drunk driving, seatbelt use and speed control are less likely to be killed or hurt in a car crash.

So talk! They'll listen. 

Spend just 5 minutes a week on focused, direct conversation about specific habits and practices. Set clear limitations and restrictions on your teen's driving. (Check out the related article titled, “A tool for parents: phased-in privileges.”) Start these conversations before your child ever gets her license or permit, and keep it up all the time. If you are getting a late start — if your teen has already been driving for a while — you may have to make up for lost time with more frequent, intensive discussions to undo any bad habits. So start today. Why are we recommending only 5 minutes? 

PARENTS: It's Up to You 

Only you can set limits on your teen to avoid life-risking behavior in the car. before you give your teen the keys to the car, give him three keys to staying alive.


Because there's no parent who is too busy to find 5 minutes for a life-and-death topic like safe driving. So the 5-minute guideline removes barriers and excuses. Plus, we know that once you start a conversation, it will last as long as it needs to last, and that may be more than 5 minutes. The point is to start and to do it every week without fail.

5 minutes a week. That's all it takes to help your child prepare for the road ahead. 

Teenagers don't come with an owner's manual for parents. It's up to you to figure out ways to keep your young driver safe.

That's what this Web site is all about. It's filled with guidelines and smart restrictions you can use to help your young driver adopt safe habits and a cautious mindset toward driving. It could save your teen's life.

Take 5 minutes now to look through these pages. You'll find plenty to talk about with your teen.

Click here for a year's worth of Talking Points!