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Teen driving technology a fast growing part of the new and used car market

Posted at 6:42 AM, Mar 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-01 06:48:52-05

It is a scary fact of parenthood that your child’s most important decisions will most likely be made without you present. That’s true especially when it comes to driving. AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that new teen drivers, between 16-17 years old, are three times as likely as adults to be involved in a deadly crash.

That’s why auto manufacturers are focused on keeping your children safe behind the wheel while also giving you a presence in the vehicle when they’re not there.

“You can actually put boundary alerts on,” said Jeep Brand Senior Manager Ronald Frank. “If your children are driving outside of a certain range it will notify you that your car is outside of that range. Speed alerts as well if your children are driving too fast.”

Many new vehicle lines offer parents the ability to set certain controls like the radio can’t be turned on until the seat belts are fastened, alerts can be given that can set off a warning if the vehicle hits a certain speed while also producing driver report cards that show the miles driven, top speed and number of times accident avoidance technology was used.

“You’re never at ease when your kids are on the roads,” said Cleveland Auto Show President Lou Vitantonio “but at least we have some sense of that, they’ll be ok with some of these extra safety features.”

There are options for those not necessarily in the market for a new car but looking for teen tracking options. Among the ones we’ve found:

AT&T DriveMode: Can silence incoming alerts and phone calls while automatically replying to text messages that you are driving. It turns on when a vehicle is moving at 15 mph. It will send a text to parents when DriveMode is turned off or if Auto-mode is disabled.

Cellcontrol: Uses an app and a device that can be installed on the windshield that lets you disable the ability to text, email, use social media while driving a vehicle. (911 calls are always allowed.) Also motion activated and contains parent notifications when tampered with.

Verizon Hum: Provides boundary alerts and allows parents to see where the vehicle is at all times. It can generate speed and activity reports that can be emailed as a downloadable CSV file.

AutoBrain: This is a monthly subscription device that plugs into your car’s diagnostic port and sends to an app vehicle information like speed and location but can also diagnose vehicle issues.