Monitoring Devices Can Make Teens Safer Drivers

It may seem overprotective, but in-vehicle monitoring devices may help make your teenager a safer, more responsible driver.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted a study in which 84 teenagers were split into four groups. Some drove cars outfitted with boxes that collected driving data, while others were placed in a control group. The boxes recorded quick acceleration or braking, as well as whether drivers used seat belts and when the vehicle exceeded the speed limit. The units had global positioning systems and satellite modems to transfer data. Parents could then read the data on a secure website.

The study found that the group of drivers undergoing parental monitoring was 60% less likely to go more than 10 miles per hour over the speed limit than were those in the control group. Sudden braking and rapid acceleration also dropped by 40% for the monitored drivers. The study determined that teens were least likely to engage in risky driving behavior when they knew their parents were reviewing the data regularly (meaning they tended to slip if they thought no one was paying attention).

There are a number of affordable gadgets that can help you monitor your teenage driver, such as DriveCam or Ford’s MyKey. As the study points out, the gadget is less important than parental engagement.

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