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Office of Traffic Safety

A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety

parents' role in developing safe teen drivers

Parents need to train their teens (link to driving log) on a variety of road types and in different conditions (nighttime, rain, snow). The more supervised experience, the safer the teen driver.




Parents should be a positive role model: buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention, and don’t drive aggressively.

Monitor your teen driver during the period of greatest crash risk — the first six to 12 months after licensure.

To minimize the risks of crashes, injuries and death, talk with your teen and establish clear and reasonable driving rules (link to parent teen contract sample) that favor safety over convenience.

Follow through with established consequences if violations occur.

Encourage teens to speak up when they don’t feel safe when driving or riding with others.

Teens need to feel comfortable and confident to tell friends to buckle up, slow down, pay
attention or stop distractions.


Agree to provide a safe ride for your teen anytime it’s needed.

At a minimum, your rules should reinforce these state laws:


Night time Driving Limitation

 • For the first six months of licensure: Driving is prohibited midnight – 5 a.m.

 Exemptions: Driving when accompanied by a licensed driver age 25 or older; driving between home and place of employment; driving to/from home and a school event for which the school has not provided transportation; driving for employment purposes. The nighttime limitation is lifted after the first six months of licensure.


Passenger Limitations

 • For the first six months of licensure: Only one passenger under age 20 is permitted, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.

• For the second six months of licensure: No more than three passengers under age 20 are permitted, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Exemption: Passengers under age 20 who are members of the driver’s immediate family are permitted.

Seat Belts

• Drivers and passengers of any age and in all seating positions must be buckled up or in the correct child restraint.

Cell Phone Use and Texting

• It is illegal for drivers under age 18 to use a cell phone, whether hand-held or hands-free — except to call 911 in an emergency.
It is also illegal for drivers of all ages to compose or read • text messages and emails, or access the Internet using a wireless device while the vehicle is in motion or a part of traffic.

Drinking and Driving

• It is illegal for a person under age 21 to drive after consuming any amount of alcohol. Drivers under the legal drinking age with an alcohol-concentration of 0.08 or higher will face regular DWI laws and sanctions.