Teenage drivers tend to be inexperienced. This, of course, is not surprising given that most have not spent much time behind the wheel beyond required training or the occasional drive with their parents. Because of this inexperience, teens are more likely than older drivers to underestimate potentially dangerous situations.
In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, teenage drivers (age 16 to 19) are more likely to speed as well as follow other cars more closely – thus leaving less room and time to stop in the event of an emergency.
While simply more time behind the wheel will help mitigate the most common errors in judgment associated with inexperience, it is not the only way to help reduce teen driving accidents. Education is also a factor that can help make a difference and make teen drivers safer.
But what about technology? Can that help make teenage drivers safer? What if there was an app for that?
Actually, there is.
There are several devices that have been created to promote teen driving safety. One such system, called the tiwiFamily, is an electronic box that is mounted in the car, kind of like a navigation device. It monitors where the car is and how fast the car is traveling. Parents are able to “geofence” their teens – meaning setting virtual boundaries around where their kids are allowed to drive. It also will set parameters about how many miles over the speed limit the car can travel in a given zone. When a rule is breached, the device alerts the driver and “provides mentoring through verbal…coaching and messages.” It will also send the parent an alert via email, text or a phone call. Several other manufacturers are creating similar in-car devices.
Similar standalone apps also exist that basically allow for the same things, except they have to be installed on a teen’s phone, and the phone must be on and in the car while a teen is driving for them to work. Additionally, such apps can detect and record when a driver is texting and answer calls while driving.
Talking to your teen about safe driving habits and using technology to monitor those habits and continue the conversation are all things that can be done to help establish safe driving habits for teens and reduce the risk of a fatal car accident.
Related resource: Techlicious, “3 Ways to Keep Your Kids Safe on the Road.”