Every parent is nervous when their child takes the wheel and there are myriad options for tracking teen drivers, but do those devices really assure that your teenager is being a safe driver?
It’s a dilemma parents face on multiple fronts. They’re expected to know what their child is doing online, on their phone, and once they’re old enough to drive, behind the wheel. Options range from simple devices like dashboard cameras to more complex gadgets that will track location and speed and even send realtime data back to a nervous parent.
Statistics show that teen drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents than adults, but it’s not always because they were driving over the speed limit or had a car packed with too many friends. Sometimes, it’s simple inexperience.
If you’ve been driving for years, then you’re going to notice the nervous woman in front of you or the guy eating breakfast and swerving in his lane. A teen driver, not so much. No gadget can make up for experience, but a parent who educates their child about good driving can go along way to preventing an accident.
There’s a point where every parent has to trust that they’ve done the right thing and given their kid the tools to make good decisions. They’re going to make some bad ones anyway, just like we all do, but you’ve got to trust that you’ve taught them well enough to make the right decision most of the time. This includes when they’re behind the wheel.
Sure, a gadget is going to give you hard and fast data about the things teen drivers are doing wrong, but no amount of data is going to make that teen driver suddenly safe. The safety comes from a parent who takes the time to educate their child about what they should do, how they should drive, and how they should behave when they’re behind the wheel.
Monitoring teen drivers with devices might be a part of the solution, but it can never replace the skills and values that a parent must instill in their child before they ever put their hands on the wheel. It’s going to take technology and parenting together to make sure teen drivers are safe drivers.
Nicole Wakelin fell in love with cars as a teenager when she got to go for a ride in a Ferrari. It was red and it was fast and that was all that mattered. Game over. She considers things a bit more carefully now, but still has a weakness for fast, beautiful cars. Nicole also writes for NerdApproved and GeekMom.