If your teen is taking the wheel, technology may be the last thing you want them thinking about on the road. After all, their driving instincts are only just beginning to form and distracted driving claims thousands of lives every year. In fact, a study by Liberty Mutual and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) found that 78 percent of teens admitted to texting while driving
It's no wonder you're worried about your teen driver. So what can you do to keep her safer? Utilize technology to your advantage.
From built-in car features that monitor and correct driving habits to downloadable apps that prevent teens from texting, car-integrated technology today is better than ever. When you know exactly which of your worries the technology addresses, you can pick the solution that's right for you and your teen. I'm Worried That... My Teen Might Encounter Driving Situations Out of His or Her Control
If you're worried that your teen driver isn't quite up to par with their skills on the road yet, consider a vehicle with these technology features:
- Steering support, which engages when automatic braking won't stop a potential collision. It will veer the car away from obstacles if the car is going between certain speeds, usually 30 and 60 mph.
- Vehicle stability management, which will give your teen driver more steering control when road conditions get bad.
- Lane mitigation technology, which can help prevent your teen from having head-on collisions.
- Adaptive cruise control, which automatically maintains set speeds and safe distances from the vehicle in front of it, helping avoid rear-end collisions.
- Blind spot awareness technology to avoid accidents caused when teens are changing lanes.
The 2017 Volkswagen Jetta (a Liberty Mutual partner) also has Automatic Crash Notification
to send a heads up to a VW agent if your teen is in trouble, and Remote Vehicle Access, so if your teen locks themselves out, they can gain access using a smartphone app.
I'm Worried That… Distractions Will Be an Issue for My Teen Driver
Distracted driving is a problem that parents have to curb, and car manufacturers and technology developers are doing what they can to help.
I'm Worried That... My Teen Might Take Advantage of the Freedom That Comes with Driving
- The KeySense technology available in the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica (a Liberty Mutual partner)allows you to use a programmable key fob specifically for your teen. You create a four-digit code to set limits and controls on things like:
- Driving speed and radio volume.
- Blocking certain channels of SiriusXM.
- Muting the radio if the front seat belts are not buckled.
- Available subscriptions for the Uconnect app, which offers a feature that lets you block text messages and send an automated response.2
- If you're worried your teen finds it too tempting to sneak a peek while driving, the downloadable Cell Control app (a Liberty Mutual partner) lets you put limits on what your teen can and can't do on their phone while their car is in motion.
- The app works as soon as the car starts to move, but also has "passenger-zones," meaning it has settings that allow the phone to work in passenger areas of the vehicle.3
If you think that you won't be able to keep tabs on your teen now that they can drive, think again. Many car manufacturers now provide in-vehicle and app features that can keep you abreast of your teen's driving habits, including the following Liberty Mutual partners: Volkswagen's VW Car-Net® Family Guardian
feature, Hyundai's Blue Link®-enabled Geo Fence
feature, and Kia's UVO eLServices
Features on these apps allow you to:
- Track your teen's whereabouts by setting geographic boundary parameters with your teen, and if their car leaves that area you are notified via call, text, or email.
- Set time-based curfews by talking to your teen about when they are expected back home and set a curfew on their vehicle – you are notified if their car is out past that set time.
- Tell you how well your teen is driving by setting speed parameters for your teen's vehicle, and receive a notification if those speed limits are exceeded.
While technology is constantly improving and making driving safer for the newest drivers on the roads, it also adds to the distractions that make it so dangerous. Fortunately, you now have a variety of technology options available that can curb your teen's bad driving behaviors, and reinforce and instill good ones as well.