Two Teens And Their Mama: Tech Tools For Teen Drivers

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tech Tools For Teen Drivers


One of the scariest things about parenting teenagers is letting them drive off on their own after they get their license.  My boys have been driving for several years, but I still worry every time they leave the house.

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...


19 comments:

  1. Omg if my parents had this back when I was younger I would have been screwed! I couldn't get away with my lies about where I went! I would have to befriend or date someone who was an expert at messing the signals up or dismantling them. Lol lol

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    1. It's true, our poor kids don't get much opportunity to get in trouble these days. But it's just so scary out there!

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  2. I'm so glad your wrote this post! My daughter will get her permit in January and I'm already worried! I love the idea of the driving contract and I'll have to check out those devices! Thanks for sharing this!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

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    1. The driving contract is a good place to start!

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  3. I am so behind when it comes to the tech world! What a great invention! I thought I was progressive because I insisted that my kids all have a cell phone in the car with them when they left the house. But that was before the days of texting. (Remember those?) My eldest daughter, at the age of 32, got her driver's license. I remember the first time she drove here. I was a nervous wreck. Turns out she never goes over the speed limit and is a very, very careful driver. Whew! The others have been driving for years. But I still worry. I'm good at it . . .

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    1. Me too, Diane - it's my specialty :)!

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  4. I'm hoping that by the time Willis and Lucia are driving age, that there's an implant that can be installed behind their ear that GPS tracks them and let's me be the good fairy on their shoulder, telling them to smarten up and make good decisions.

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    1. I love it - and there probably will be!

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  5. It's amazing what is already there (blocking texting and driving) that I wonder what it will be like when my kids can drive, which is more than ten years away!

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    1. The cars will probably drive them around by then!

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  6. I had no idea that much of the technology you mentioned even existed. I am about where you are at ... hoping that my kids will continue to show the caution and make good decisions, as they have up until now. With my daughter driving a car in busy Seattle traffic this summer though, my anxiety has sky rocketed!

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    1. Also - I published the post you tagged me for today Lana, and driving was on my list of hates!

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    2. I hope the Seattle driving has been going okay for your daughter. I don't hate driving, but I would love to live somewhere that didn't require so much of it!

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  7. oh my gosh, just thinking about my kids driving gives me heart palpitations! So glad that there is so much technology to gentle sway our kids to be better more cautious drivers :)

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    1. I like that Sarah - sway them to be better drivers!

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  8. I'm so glad to be mostly past that. Even at 26 and 23 I still worry like crazy! I wish these had been around when ours started driving. Although did have a horrible car wreck he Senior year. I don't know how she made it out alive...Uh oh blog post haha!

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    1. I guess we will always worry about our kids, no matter how old they are. Definitely sounds like a story for a blog post!

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  9. Lana, this is a good program... by the time Valentina drives I will want her to have this... I know I will still worry, it's unbelievable the risks people take... I never drove but I did take risks with other drivers which I think back on now and wonder where my head was... One thing I am certain of, a phone has no business being used while driving... heck I cannot even pay attention to TV and text, driving and texting is beyond stupid and scary...

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    1. When our boys get in the car, they're supposed to put their phones in the glove box, so they're not tempted to look at them when they're driving. I agree, phones and driving don't mix!

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