If you’ve been following DriveitHOME for even a short while, you probably know our main mantra: Stay Involved with Your Teen Driver. Among other things, that means riding as a passenger with your teen regularly—at least 30 minutes a week (or an hour, if you can swing it)—to check on their progress. But what about the rest of the time they’re on the road and you’re not there?
The DriveitHOME Team is fortunate enough to travel around the country attending various seminars and conferences, often with the National Safety Council. While we do get to talk to a lot of traffic safety professionals who are familiar with teen driving, the Council also covers safety in the workplace, home and communities, so we also get to talk to bunch of folks who aren’t involved in road safety. Many of them are parents, just like you.
One of the most frequently asked questions at these conferences—and through email, too—is: “What can I do to make sure my teen is following all the rules and applying what we’ve practiced when I’m not in the car?”
You may be aware of the many apps and systems available—some free of charge, others at a cost—that can help monitor your teen’s driving behavior when you’re not there. Things like phone/device use, speeding, seat belt usage, even aggressive turning or lane changing.
Because technology changes so quickly, especially with app based solutions, DriveitHOME and the National Safety Council can’t endorse any specific system. But, since the question has been asked so frequently, we wanted to provide parents with a simple guide to help you make an informed decision.
We recently relaunched the DriveitHOME website (if you haven’t checked it out in the past couple of weeks, make sure you take a look when you’re done) and it features a new page for Vehicle Monitoring Technology. We’ve got the basics covered, including what features to look for so you can make the best choice for your family.
One last thing to think about. Make sure you talk with your teen about monitoring them. It’s much better to be upfront and explain why you’re using this technology. It will help build trust and you can even use it to allow your teen to earn driving privileges. The important thing is to emphasize that it is a tool to help improve driving skills and gain experience, not for spying. The end game is always helping our kids stay safe on the road.