My anxiety gets worse in the summer. Last year I wrote about the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day which are the deadliest for teen drivers, with the biggest problem being inattention due to texting or other passengers in the car.
Luckily, there have been recent improvements with monitoring technology for teen drivers, which can offer some peace of mind.
Data supports the premise that teens who know they're being monitored by their parents drive safer and take fewer risks, resulting in fewer accidents.
In-car GPS devices have come a long way. Parents can check on location, speed, acceleration and more. They can be alerted if the device is unplugged, and request a "driving report card" for their teen. The best news: many insurance companies now provide these devices free for one year, or offer premium discounts with their use.
All wireless carriers offer apps that block texting and driving, and others that allow parents to set speed limits and safe driving areas, sending alerts if teens travel outside the boundaries.
At this point I'll probably skip these tech tools, since my boys have proven over the past few years that they can handle the responsibilities that come with having a driver's license. However, they did sign a parent-teen driving contract, and to this day it's still in effect. Go to TeenDrivingAAA.com for a sample agreement.
It will always be scary when your teen driver hits the road, but these tools can help take a little of the anxiety away. Now if they could just come up with something to monitor the ups and downs of teenage emotions...