Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for adolescents in most developed countries. In some countries including the United States, parents play a critical role in teaching adolescents to drive; however, little is known about what parents believe to be necessary in developing safe, skilled drivers, including the kind of instruction and experiences needed. The aim of this study was to address this gap in the research by describing what parents know and believe about the learning-to-drive process using semistructured interviews and surveys. U.S. parents were asked to identify and describe important skills and concepts, learning methodologies, common problems, and evaluation metrics for novice drivers. An emic account of the learning-to-drive period was generated to inform future interventions to support families and to generate hypotheses for future research. © The Author(s) 2012.