Learning to drive is a rite of passage that all teenagers experience, but it can be a stressful time for you as a parent, who knows all the dangers they face. Teenagers are more likely to die or get injured than drivers of any other age, and according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, young people ages 16-19 are most at risk. These facts can be frightening; however, if your teenager is ready to get behind the wheel, there are several automobile features available you can employ to help keep him or her safer.
1. Audio Control
Few things are more exciting for a teen than getting into a car and being able to choose the music. While this is one of the privileges of driving, playing the radio or streaming audio too loudly can cause distractions that may lead to accidents. To keep your teen focused on the road ahead, check your car’s owner’s manual and learn how to pre-set volume controls to a moderate level. Many new cars, especially those manufactured after 2015, include this feature. While music can be a fun component of driving, it should never serve to distract the driver.
2. Speed Monitoring
Speed is a major cause of car crashes among teenage drivers, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk increases significantly with male drivers. There are several reasons why your teen might speed when they are driving, including experimentation with the car, for fun, or to show off when their friends are in the car. While this behavior can be hard to prevent, some features in newer vehicles might be of help. Speed alerts and printable driving reports can keep your teen’s foot off the gas pedal and help reduce the odds of a crash.
3. Distance Reporting
Having a driver’s license can represent a great deal of freedom to your teen and may urge them to test their boundaries, including how far from your home they are supposed to drive. However, this may get them into trouble and put them into situations they are not ready to handle, such as driving on the freeway or in heavy traffic that calls for making quick driving decisions.
While it is difficult to account for your teen’s whereabouts every second when they are driving, your car can let you know where they have been once they return by offering a distance report. These reports include information about miles driven and whether your teen drove further than the limits you have set.
4. Insurance-Based Tracking
If you want a number of tracking features all from one device, some insurance companies offer a subscription-based service that offers distance and speed monitoring, as well as many other options. You can pay for the device directly through your insurance premiums. For example, if you live in central Atlanta, you can ask your Atlanta auto insurance provider what tracking devices they provide and which ones might be the best choice for your needs.
5. Smartphone Apps
While your teen’s smartphone might be a major driving distraction, it can also help remind them about their driving habits with several available apps. Some can limit or block texts and calls when the car is in motion, monitor and alert them about their speed, and how efficient their driving skills are. Some of these apps are free, while others require that you make in-app purchases to access certain features.
Your teen getting behind the wheel of a car is an eventuality that you must face as a parent. However, today’s vehicles include a wide variety of safety options that can help keep them safer and give you peace of mind as your child heads down the road to freedom and adulthood.