Teens who say their parents set rules and pay attention to their activities in a helpful, supportive way are half as likely to be in a crash.

1. Set clear rules, boundaries, and expectations. Rather than stating, “You’ll do as I say,” explain your reasoning.

2. It’s about safety, not control. Make sure they understand rules are in place for their safety, not to control them. As they become more skilled, introduce new privileges.

3. Be responsive. Listen to their concerns, and when appropriate, modify expectations to fit circumstances.

4. Recognize their need to become independent. Reward responsible behavior with greater privileges.

5. Let them know you can be counted on for help and support. Be the scapegoat to help your teen save face in front of friends.

- Make sure your teens’ friends know your tough rules.

- Create a code word. Help teens get out of unsafe situations by texting you or calling you with a previously agreed upon word that lets you know they need your help to avoid an unsafe driving situation.

6. Pay attention. Keep the lines of communication open. Know where they are going and why. Discuss how they will get there and back. Provide alternatives to help them avoid unsafe driving situations.

7. Lead by example. Follow the rules of the road. Always wear a seat belt. Don’t speed. Don’t talk on a cell phone.