Teen drivers tend to be inexperienced and are prone to taking risks. They often pay a heavy price for this inexperience. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) teen drivers are 4 times more likely to get into an accident. Teen drivers are expensive as well, often doubling or tripling your rates.
Modern technology can be used to help solve these issues by attaching an electric leash to the vehicle your teen is driving. Monitoring speed, location and even reporting hard turns these devices let parents keep an eye on their newly minted driver. In some cases these device can actually lower your insurance premium as well.
Studies have found that teens drive differently when they are being monitored, in many cases they drive as if their parent was actually in the car. The most effective systems sound an alert and if the teen corrected the behavior within a 20 second timeframe the system would not notify their parents. These systems also sent a bi-weekly email to the parents containing a report on the teens driving behavior.
Here are just a few of the options available to the parents of a teen driver.
GPS Tracking – This is one of the most common tracking methods. They provide a number of features in addition to detailed tracking.
SkyLink Protect – This high end GPS tracker lets parents set up perimeters called GeoFences and if the car strays out of the fenced area the parents are alerted. This product is hard wired into the car and lets parents track the vehicle in real time.
While this system is quite expensive, it is one of the most effective.
When the system detects risky driving the video feedback system records a few seconds of what is going on in the car. This footage is transmitted to DriveCam and is reviewed by one of their safety professionals. Every week a report is sent to the parents that include any footage recorded as well as driving advice.
This system allows the parents and teens to review the data and talk about ways to improve. It is a great way to bond with your teen driver.
DriverCam costs $500 and there is a $30 monitoring fee per month.
These devices plug into the OBDII port in the car and can record or transmit data about sudden stops, mileage and speed. Insurance companies have embraced these devices. Depending on your insurer you may be able to get one of these devices for free.
CarChip – This third party company sells plug-ins for about $120. You can plug it into your computer to download the data. Parents can set speed reminders and establish parameters for acceleration and braking. If these parameters are exceeded the device beeps alerting the teen driver.
Cell phone apps
There are hundreds of smart phone apps for teen drivers. While they are less robust than the other devices they are often fairly cheap and can do the job.
Call and Text Disablers – Distracted driving is a huge killer of teen drivers. These apps disable the calling and text functions of the phone. They block all incoming calls, emails and texts.
iGuardianTeen – While this app disables texting and calls it performs other functions as well. A report is sent after every trip that shows excessive G-Force events and top speeds.
Keeping an eye on your teen while they are out on the road is a good idea and these devices can help you make sure your teens are driving safe.
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