As you imagine the possibilities, your heart starts racing when you hand your teenager your car keys for the first-time. It’s a fact that car accidents are the number one cause of death in teens in the United States. So it’s crucial to explain the gravity of your new responsibility.

Trico Products ( has made a commitment to make teen drivingSafer and encourage parents sit down with their children before giving them the keys to the car.

Trico has these useful talking points to make it easier for you to have a conversation.

* Seatbelt — Teens buckle up far less frequently than adults, so be sure to reiterate that fastening your seatbelt should be the very first thing you do before keys are even in the ignition.

* Texting — Cell phones, the radio and other passengers are all major distractions. Each second a teenager looks away from the road could lead to a serious accident. To further illustrate this danger, you can cite recent examples of car accidents caused by texting while driving.

* Drinking and driving — It’s important to stress that no one under the age of 21 should be drinking. However, they should be able to make the right decisions and get a designated driver.

* Defensive driving — Teens need to be hyper-sensitive to all surroundings, since their brain is not fully developed. To avoid collisions, they must be aware not only of what they are doing but also how other people drive.

* Penalties — Talk about the fines associated with tickets, and let them know they will be responsible for any monetary repercussions and attending traffic court.

* Roadside emergencies and maintenance — Go over what to do and whom to call in an emergency. It is important that they have the necessary information and roadside assistance. You can also teach them basic maintenance, such as how to schedule oil changes, tire rotations, inspections and changing wiper blades.

The first conversation is just the beginning. Make sure you continue to discuss these points with your driver regularly in order for them to make informed decisions. Visit to get additional information about driver safety and regular car maintenance.