Can Monitoring Devices Help My Teen Avoid Car Accidents?

Digital surveillance
Most teenagers act differently around their friends than they do while around their parents, so it stands to reason that they drive differently as well. A newly licensed driver may be a model citizen while mom is in the passenger seat, but eventually every young adult will have to go solo. Luckily for concerned parents, in-car monitoring devices can help young drivers improve their skill behind the wheel and help them reduce their accident risk. In addition to helping keep teens safe, another benefit is that keeping a clean driving record as a novice driver can amount to cheaper insurance as an adult.

Monitoring devices come in many shapes and sizes, and can come from several different manufacturers. The most common systems include basic data chips, GPS-based systems, and video monitoring systems. The most basic recording devices, such as the CarChip® Pro by Davis Instruments, are generally installed in a vehicle's onboard diagnostics port, commonly located under the steering wheel. These devices are similar to many of the pay-as-you-drive monitoring devices that insurance companies use, and will diligently track details like speed, mileage, and throttle position, as well as moments of intense braking or acceleration. If the user goes over a certain speed limit or makes an unsafe maneuver, an alarm on some models will sound to alert the driver. This information can then be downloaded and reviewed by parents.

Many GPS-based systems work similarly, but will also track the driver's location. In more advanced systems, parents can obtain phone calls, text messages, or emails to alert them about their teenager's location, speed, and driving habits.

Video surveillance systems use a different approach by recording images both inside and outside of the vehicle for a short duration before and after a triggering event, such as erratic driving or an automobile accident. All of this information can then be used by both parents and teenagers to improve driving performance and accident awareness.

Decreasing Teenage Accident Potential

Numerous studies have shown utilizing monitoring devices like Ford's MyKey System to tackle bad behavior behind the wheel can significantly reduce a young motorist's accident potential, which can help parents find cheap car insurance for teenagers. Information gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests that the increased use of this equipment to better coach novice drivers shows promising results. However, it is also essential that parents take the time to review this information and provide constructive feedback.

Four teens riding in a carFor the best possible results, parents are encouraged to use one of these monitoring devices and self-enforce graduated driver licensing standards if they are not already in place in their particular state. These laws place restrictions on motorists under the age of 18 to help decrease accident potential, which includes limitations on passengers, evening driving hours, and the amount of time spent behind the wheel before the teenager can become fully licensed. If parents and teens work together and utilize the resources that are commonly available to them, it's possible to get lower insurance rates by maintaining a clean driving record.