I don't think many parents do it differently from how you're doing it now. Every child is different, and while there surely are common threads among children there probably aren't as many as you might think. So, it's difficult to be proactive beyond some very general situations, e.g.:
- Call if you're going to be late
- Call if you're going to be somewhere other than where you said you'd be
- Call if you feel unsafe and/or uncomfortable in a certain situation
There are also a lot of areas where parents' opinions of how to raise their children will come into play, such as whether or not to enforce a curfew, where a child is and is not allowed to go, who a child is and is not allowed to go with, etc. You'll obviously need to decide what these are on your own (or with your partner).
Finally, you'll need to decide who the responsible parties are in all cases. As an example, when I was young my mother would always coordinate directly with my friends' parents regarding what time I would be home, whether she was picking me up or the other parents were dropping me off, etc. I think this is probably a good approach for a pre-teen (and perhaps even a young teenager). But, as I grew older the responsibility fell upon me to provide my mother with the info mentioned above. Again, this is something that you'll have to decide for yourself as far as the division of responsibility for communication, etc goes.
Last but not least, besides communicating rules you'll need to be up front about communicating consequences. This is something that I think parents fail to do too often, especially as children get older. Make sure that your child knows what the consequences are for breaking whatever rules you come up with. On the flipside of that coin, there should also be positive consequences for when your child faithfully follows the rules.