Teen drivers have always had a bit of a poor reputation and pegged as bad drivers. While it’s true that newly licensed drivers are less experienced than other drivers, it’s a quick judgement to make. Yes, some teenaged drivers are downright crummy drivers and make poor decisions that make their actions even more dangerous. On the other hand, there are some teen drivers who are so conscientious about the road and fellow drivers around them that they make the rest of the driving world look completely irresponsible. The biggest issue surrounding teen drivers is their safety on the roads. Unfortunately, teen drivers are at a greater risk of being injured or killed in a car accident; in some part due to their own irresponsible behavior or inexperience.
Car accidents will most likely happen to all of us (if you haven’t had one already) and sadly, the average driver is “due” for an accident about every 17 years, according to the car insurance industry. While an accident isn’t always severe and damaging, driver’s actions almost always account for an accident and depending on the reckless action, the accident damage can range from a fender bender to a fatality. According to Klein Lawyers, the three most common reasons behind automobile crashes are speed, impaired driving, and distractions. These “critical errors” are some of the most common mistakes that teen drivers make and can ultimately lead to a crash; a car accident is the number one cause of death for teenagers. Although laws surrounding distracted driving and drunk or drugged driving remain strict, accidents involving teens still continue.
Reducing Teen Accidents with Technology
Perhaps the best way to change a teen driver’s risky habits is by using what they love the most: technology. Any parent of a teenager, and maybe even the teen, will agree that their cell phone is like a limb; threaten to take it away and there’s major upset. Despite all the PSAs and laws encouraging to keep drivers off their cellphones, people are still texting and driving. Sadly, teen drivers are one of the biggest offenders. According to distraction.gov (the official U.S. Government website on distracted driving), 3,154 people were killed in car accidents involving a distracted driver. 10% of drivers, under the age of 20, involved in fatal crashes admitted to being distracted at the time of the crash. How can technology reduce these types of crashes without being more distracting?
Stop Your Teen From Texting and Driving
Aside from banning your teen driver from using a cellphone, it may be difficult to monitor his or her behaviors behind the wheel. Fortunately, there are various apps to encourage young drivers to keep the phone out of reach. “Blocking” devices are also available to silence incoming calls and texts; leaving GPS and 911 the only things “allowed” to access. Another promising piece of technology that can help avoid deadly distracted driving accidents is Origosafe. This distraction blocking technology requires that a phone is locked in a dock before the car will start (think of an interlock system). A teen driver can only use his or her phone unless the car is off or if he or she uses Bluetooth.
Another piece of technology that has successfully reined in bad driving habits is the Ford Motor Co. MyKey technology. The key to the cars, with this technology, is programmed by parents and they control the maximum speed of the car and other potential distractions such as radio volume. This may not be popular among teens, but it may force them to think a little more about the road.