How to keep an eye on your teen driver
Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers who drive. Drivers who are 16 years old are more than 20 times likely to have an accident, as are other drivers. In addition, teenage drivers have the highest crash risk of any age group, and 16-year-olds are the worst. How can we prevent these tragedies from happening? The answer is simple monitor and put limits on teen driving.
Tips on how to find out what they are doing without advance devices
The first thing you should always do is check odometer before they leave and after they get home. This will give you an idea of the distance they have traveled.
If you left the kids at home and told them not to drive, when you get home slide your hand over the hood, if it’s hot it has been running lately. If it is a hot day, look underneath the car for the dripping condensation from the air conditioning.
If you have an automatic toll-paying device such as Speed Pass or EZ-Pass, check the account online. This will tell you if they made any unauthorized trips.
Monitor credit card activity, see if there any out of town purchases.
You could also use a exercise wrist mounted GPS to determine the distance they traveled, approximate geographic area covered, maximum speed, and average speed. Just place it anywhere in the car where the GPS satellites could find it, and start the timer right before they get in the car to leave.
This is a service, launched by a pair of concerned moms in Texas. The service involves placing a bumper sticker on your teen’s car encouraging other drivers to report any bad driving by calling the number, located on the bumper sticker, and entering your child’s specific PIN number.
The message is then forwarded to your cell phone and is stored online.
This system works because the young driver knows that they are being reported for anything they do wrong.
The web site to this service is www.reportmyteen.com
This service uses the teen’s own GPS-enabled cell phone to track and monitor them.
You could log on to the account online, either on the computer or your cell phone to located your child’s Nextel phone. If the phone is in a moving car, it will show where it is located, and the direction and speed it is moving in.
Other services like sprint and Verizon offer similar programs.
The most reliable and effective way to monitor your child’s driving is by using electronic devices that record the how the vehicle is accelerating and braking, the basics of the average speed and distance traveled.
Alltrack USA gives you a black-box recording device that uses GPS tracking and a cellular connection to transmit data about how and where the car is being operated. Parents could access the information through a web browser or any telephone, an automated voice that will give you an address, direction of travel and speed. This system also sends you an alert when the child exceeds present speeds or crosses predefined geographic boundaries. It also sends emails when the child arrives to the destination, and unlocks doors if they are locked out. This System costs $389, and can be ordered online at www.alltrackusa.com.
Davis Instruments is the best-known manufacturer of vehicle monitoring technology. This service offers the CarChip, an OBD II scanner that plugs into the OBD port in the car. It says in that OBD port will the vehicle is in use and records up to 75 hours of the vehicle’s activity. You can download the activity and view geographically the time and date for each trip. You could also download the distance traveled, the speed, and any hard braking or fast acceleration. At the price of $139, it also comes with a variety of alternative applications like reading engine-warning light code and testing emission status. www.davisnet.com
These are just a few of the hundreds of vehicle racking devices you could use. You could buy them online and prices range depending on the features and quality of the products. Research online and find the product that you feel will be right for you and your child.