Often times the first thing that comes to mind for many teens and parents when talking about in-vehicle driver monitoring is the notion of invasion of privacy or the possibility of breaking the teen’s trust. What if this stigma was framed in a different light, what if instead of a big brother monitoring device we think of monitoring devices more similarly to training wheels. Monitoring your teen driver would be out in the open and just part of the learning curve required to successfully learn how to drive. Like training wheels, when the teen driver and their parents and or guardians become more confident in the teen’s ability to drive safely, then and only then would the device be removed. More studies are beginning to show the benefits of teens that drive with a form of in-vehicle monitoring are less likely to drive in a reckless or risky manner (Farmer et al., 2010, McGehee et al., 2007, Simon-Moton et al., 2013). It is widely known that teen drivers pose the greatest crash risk to themselves as well as to other drivers on the road. Less known is the starling statistic from the Center for Disease Control, which found that motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of death for those 13-19 years of age (CDC, 2012). For those who have been injured in a car crash, the law offices of Rosenbaum and Associates have over 25 years of experience working with families who have been injured in automobile accidents throughout the Philadelphia area.
While the rate of death for new teen drivers is slowly declining, in part due to better education programs warning of the dangers of driving while using your cell phone and driving without your seatbelt, as well as, new laws in Pennsylvania for graduated driver licenses which limits the number of passengers and requires the driver to wear their seatbelt, the average number of teen who loose their life due to car related accidents is still about seven teen deaths a day. The CDC estimates that in 2010, about 2,700 teens in the United States aged 16-19 were fatally injured, with an additional 282,000 treated and released from emergency rooms for injuries suffered from automobile accidents. Yes, monitoring devices can be seen as a bit extreme, but since when have parents not been willing to go the extra mile to ensure their children’s well being. Numerous studies have shown that teens drive more safely when a parent or guardian is in the car with them. However, this is not always an option, plus the teen driver is beginning to display the need for some freedom and space. A monitoring device, which does not monitor the teen per se, but more so how the teen is driving, is an option that many parents are turning to. With the increase in technology options available the prices have begun to drop a bit making the in car devices more readily available.
Speeding which is something many automakers are trying to help prevent in teen drivers offer special keys and built in options which limit the amount of speed a car can accelerate, allow the parents to set up geo-fencing paired with the car’s GPS, lower the radio, or even fully shut off the radio if the driver or passenger takes off their seat belt while driving. Such automakers as Ford, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, and Infiniti are leading the way with options built into the car to help make giving your teen driver the keys that less hair raising. With more time tested on the road these options will also become more attuned. Even with all the applications, video recorders, GPS tracking devices, and cell phone blocks out there, studies still show that a straight forward talk with your teen about the dangers on the road and risky behavior is still the best approach.
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