NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Car accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers in the United States. But new technology could help parents keep their teens safe, even when they aren’t with them in the car.
Parents recently told CBS 2’s Kristine Johnson that dashboard cameras give them peace of mind when their sons and daughters are out on the road.
“It gave me the comfort to let him start driving alone,” Catherine Gabell said.
The Drivecam activates whenever her son, Jeff, does something unsafe behind the wheel. The video is viewed by the company’s data center, which reports the activity to Catherine. It also provides suggestions on how Jeff can improve his driving.
“They can look at the speed of the driving, can look at whether or not the teen is being reckless in their driving,” explained Loretta Worters, the vice president of the Insurance Information Institute.
Jeff Gabell said knowing that his moves are being recorded forces him to drive more carefully.
“You know that if you screw up they’re going to catch you, and it’s going to get reported,” he told CBS 2.
But Drivecam is not the only technology that’s helping parents keep their kids safe on the road. Another technology called Geofencing alerts parents when the vehicle is driven above a certain speed or taken outside of a certain perimeter.
“It can actually let the parent log onto a website and see where the car is,” said Carroll Lachnit of Edmunds.com.
Some cars are being sold with the technology already on board, but it can also be purchased and installed by a third party. Another less “high-tech” option that a number of parents are pursuing are “How’s My Driving” bumper stickers that let other motorists text mom and dad about risky driving.
“It could be that just having that phone number on a bumper sticker, on the back of a car, might give a teenager pause before they do something they shouldn’t be doing,” Lachnit said.
Experts recommend being up front with your teen if you plan on installing monitoring technology in their vehicle.
“It’s not a matter of not trusting them, but a matter of improving their driving skills,” Worters explained.
A dashboard camera and a year’s worth of professional advice will cost $900, although some insurance companies may offer them for free to clients.
Would you put this type of technology in your teen’s car? Let us know in our comments section below…