Here are a few tips for parents:
1. Give the driver's seat to your teen. Recent reports suggest teens need between 25 and 50 hours of supervised driving before getting a license. Stay calm. If you panic, so will your child. Cover parking, multiple lanes, various road types, weather conditions and different days and times. Draw attention to safety hazards and day-to-day conflicts. Simple, straightforward instructions are best.
2. Limit the number of friends allowed in the car when your child drives.
3. Wear your seat belt. Some 63 percent of fatally injured teens are unrestrained. Lead by example.
4. Continue to periodically ride with your licensed teen. The sudden freedom he or she gains with a license can result in risky behavior, such as speeding. Teens are new to the road and can be overconfident.
5. No cell phone. The IIHS says drivers with cell phones are four times more likely to be involved in crashes that result in injuries.
6. Drinking and driving don't mix. Make yourself available should things get out of hand. Blood alcohol concentrations as low as 0.02 percent can hinder a driver's ability to track moving targets.
Membership in AutoVantage (http://www.autovantage.com/) begins with a two-month trial that costs $1 and can be canceled anytime during the trial period. Unless you call toll free (1-800-876-7787) to cancel during the trial period, your privileges will automatically continue at a low monthly membership fee. Customers can cancel at any time for a refund of the unused portion of then-current month's fee, no matter how much money they've saved.
Bobby Hamilton, a spokesman for AutoVantage, is the 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Champion.