Technology to Keep Teen Drivers Safe
September 28, 2017
Driving can be dangerous, especially for teenage drivers who do not have much experience behind the wheel. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drivers aged 16 and 17 are three times more likely than adult drivers to be involved in fatal collisions. Although statistics like this can make parents rethink allowing their teenagers to learn how to drive, knowing how to safely operate a vehicle is critical to living in the United States. Outside of a few large cities, not having a car severely limits an adult’s ability to support themselves.
Parents of teens can rest a bit easier knowing that technology exists to help new drivers make safer decisions. Some of these programs act as alerts for young drivers while others minimize driver distractions and place limits on how fast they can drive, as well as how loud they can play music. Moreover, others alert parents about their teens’ driving activities and allow them to monitor their children without actually being in the car with them.
Proprietary Software in Specific Car Makes
Certain pieces of teen driver tech are built into vehicles. These include:
- Ford’s MyKey: This system allows parents to control various things in a vehicle remotely, such as volume limits for the radio and seatbelt reminders.
- Chevrolet’s Teen Driver Technology: This system acts as an onboard coach for a new driver. It can also be used to set speed alerts when the driver exceeds a certain limit and volume control for the radio. Parents can also access reports of their children’s driving through the system to identify areas to practice.
- Volkswagen’s Car-Net: With this program, parents can set speed limits and location boundaries for their young drivers. The system can also send emergency alerts if the vehicle is involved in an accident.
Apps for Teen Drivers of All Vehicles
Other teen safety programs are not embedded in vehicles, but are downloadable apps for their phones. These include:
- License+: This app works with a plug-in called Automatic that sends data about the driver’s speed, braking, and acceleration habits to the parent using Bluetooth.
- ATT Drive Mode and Apple’s Do Not Disturb: Both of these apps silence notifications to a driver’s phone while they are driving.
Technology to Train Teen Drivers Before They Start Driving
Programs such as those discussed above can help parents keep their eyes on their teen drivers and alert teens when they pass certain safety parameters, but they do nothing to help young drivers develop the skills to drive safely. These skills, such as altering one’s driving style to the present conditions, knowing how to take turns appropriately, and reacting to hazards in the roadway and other drivers, are all skills that can only be learned through hands-on practice. Aceable is an online virtual reality driving simulator that gives teens the chance to practice parallel parking, driving etiquette, and other driving practices before they get behind the wheel.
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