Teenagers eventually get behind the wheel of the car and this is usually when parents begin to worry. A lot of this anxiety associated with teens driving can be taken out by making use of parental monitoring devices which are meant for teen drivers. A number of GPS based apps are available which parents can make use of to monitor the driving of their teens and these apps may range from those available for their cell phones to even on-board devices which can be plugged into the car’s on-board diagnostic computer or can be hard wired into the car by a professional.
Over the past few years, a number of insurance companies have begun to offer premium discounts to those drivers who agree to have monitoring devices installed into their car which allows their driving activity to be monitored which may include sudden braking and speeding. This is likely to have been bought by those teens that would have to pay part of the insurance premium on their own and would be won over by this discount as long as they drove safely and had no accidents. Some parents however must have faced a tough sell with their teenage driver being monitored in this manner.
According to a story on USA Today, AT&T is also developing Driving Safety which is a cloud based plug in device which can monitor the driving behavior of the driver which includes speeding, running a red light, hard braking and even provides real time vehicle diagnostic information and allows parents to control and restrict the use of cell phones while their child may be driving.
The question then all boils down to whether or not parental monitoring is a good idea or not? A survey which was conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in 2009 on teen drivers found that the use of parental monitoring devices actually modified the driving behavior of teens. They tended to be more responsible and safe when it came to driving and even took fewer numbers of risks compared to those teens that were not being monitored.
With regard to social media especially, teenagers can be quite protective and in order to avoid uproar with regard to teens finding out that their parents are monitoring how they drive, it is suggested by safety and privacy experts that parents talk to their teens regarding their driving beforehand. Even if the teen were to accept and agree to the idea of being monitored, having a conversation regarding why he was in an area he shouldn’t have been in and being questioned about his speeding would not be a comfortable conversation to have.
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Instead, it would be best to discuss responsible driving behavior with your teen and spell out to them what the rules are. This way they will be aware of what is expected of them. While making use of monitoring apps and devices can certainly help in the car, experts do agree that nothing can take the place of parental involvement itself.