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Getting Ready to Drive

Did You Know?

  • Only 53 percent of high school students reported always wearing a safety belt when riding with someone else.
  • The best time to instill safe driving practices is long before a teen gets a license.

Working For Change

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teenagers, and adolescents are at risk as both drivers and passengers. Yet few teens and preteens ever think about the rules of the road or how to drive safely until they’re just about ready to start driving. 

In 2010, Safe Kids created Countdown2Drive, a national education program designed to teach preteens and young teens about safe driving before they start to drive. This initiative is an easy to use, Web-based program designed to help parents discuss and reinforce key safety habits with their kids that can protect them when riding with other drivers. These same behaviors will help keep teens safe after they earn their own driver’s license.  

A key component of the Countdown2Drive Program is a parent-child Passenger Agreement.  Parents and their kids can use the free Web tool at to establish family rules and guidelines – complete with rewards and consequences. The agreement reinforces important safety behaviors such as always wearing a safety belt, reducing driver distraction and checking in with parents regularly.

Safe Kids coalitions and chapters across the country introduce the Countdown2Drive program to parents and their preteens and teens in local Countdown2Drive Rallies.


Our work to promote safety behind the wheel is made possible by General Motors and the General Motors Foundation, widely recognized for their continuing commitment and dedication to children and families.