Countless American adults use their vehicles on a near-constant basis. After all, automobile and truck engines are the world’s biggest consumers of lubricants, using 20 million tons per year. But while you might be able to drive around without a second thought, many young drivers are far too careless when getting behind the wheel. Whether you live in one of the worst states for teen driving or simply want to do everything in your power to ensure your midsize vehicle (which had an average selling price of $26,336 in 2018) is in capable hands, here are a few tips to ensure your teenager stays safe when out on the open road.

Talk About “Five to Drive”

Even after your teen obtains their permit and subsequent license, it’s essential to ensure they know about and engage in safe driving behaviors. The National Safety Council recommends that parents and teens follow guidelines set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These rules involve: no cell phones while driving; no speeding; no extra passengers; no alcohol; and no driving or riding without a seatbelt. Although these rules might sound obvious, they tend to be among the leading causes of crashes. One recent study found that 80% of drivers admit to reading text messages while driving, while 67% of drivers admitted that they texted messages while driving. Since drivers are 23 times more likely to crash if they’re texting while driving and 11% of drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were distracted, it’s essential for both adults and teens to put away all distractions and obey the rules of the road. Moreover, 60% of fatal crashes involving 16- to 20-year-olds showed that teens and young adults didn’t have their seatbelts on at the time of the collision. Going over these rules on a frequent basis — and making sure you abide by them yourself — can help to keep your teen safe.

Choose the Correct Car

According to research, more than 20 million vehicles on the road in 2021 will be over 25 years old. While having a used vehicle can save money initially, driving an older car can potentially put teens at risk. Not only may teens not be familiar with what needs to be fixed, but older vehicles won’t come equipped with state-of-the-art safety features. Ultimately, it’s best to pick the newest vehicle you can afford, as newer cars are simply going to be safer overall. Whether you’re buying a new or used vehicle, teens should generally refrain from driving smaller cars or sportier cars, as these might not be as safe and can encourage speeding. Trucks and SUVs are more inclined to roll over in a crash, so you’ll likely want to stay away from those, as well. Be sure to check out some top safety picks if you’re having trouble determining the best vehicle. And if you’re handing down an existing vehicle, make sure it gets a full work-up before you allow your teen to take it over.

Keep Weather and Visibility in Mind

Driving at night and in inclement weather can be a real challenge for inexperienced teens. That’s why limitations on night licenses exist. Since 17% of teen driver fatalities in 2010 occurred between the hours of 9 pm and midnight (and 24% occurred between midnight and 6 am), it’s no wonder that many parents will still set curfews so their teen isn’t out driving when it’s dark. If you live in an area prone to snowstorms or your teen doesn’t often drive in the rain, it’s good to set aside some lessons with a professional so they can learn how to handle a vehicle in these conditions. Learning how to manage skidding or hydroplaning in a controlled environment can help them avoid accidents when they’re alone in a vehicle.

While accidents can happen to drivers of any age, a lack of experience, judgment, and maturity can make teens much more vulnerable to being involved in a crash. By ensuring this topic of conversation isn’t swept under the rug, that the car they’re driving is up-to-date, and that they receive the training they need, your teen will have the tools to navigate the roads safely and confidently.