How you can monitor your kid's driving behaviour?
I can clearly remember the day when I first got into the driver’s seat with my brand-new license telling me I no longer needed parental supervision.
I’m not sure who was more scared in that moment, me or my parents. But while my confidence and (let’s face it) teenage arrogance swiftly accelerated, their fear probably increased at the same rate. And when you think about some of the statistics that surround teenage drivers, I can hardly blame them.
Shockingly, young drivers (17-25) account for 25% of all Australian road deaths despite accounting for only 15% of the licensed driver population.
In addition, 33% of Australian teenagers will experience a car crash within the first 12 months of driving and 45% of all young Australian injury deaths are due to road traffic crashes. (Source: Young Driver Factbase)
These stats are terrifying.
Once you add limited experience, distracting teenage passengers, other road users and mobile phones (probably the biggest nuisance of them all), stressing about whether your teenager gets home safely would turn any parent’s hair grey.
While mobile phones are a particular distraction, they can prove to be both blessing and curse for young drivers as they also, thanks to some clever apps, offer a way for parents to monitor how responsible their offspring are being on the road.
While teenagers may resent the idea of not being completely free of parental nosiness, the truth is that driving is a hazardous business and anything that can make it a little less so can’t be bad.
So here are three such apps available to Australian parents. There are also a number of such apps currently available in the U.S., including EverDrive and True Motion that may find their way here in due course:
LifeSaver is an app designed to stop drivers from becoming distracted by their mobile phones while behind the wheel.
LifeSaver automatically detects when a car is being driven and will block mobile phone use by displaying a ‘keep your eyes on the road’ or ‘locked by LifeSaver’ notification if the driver attempts to use it when driving.
The app still allows the use of Google Maps, as well as hand-free calls to be made, but all other mobile phone features will be locked when your teen driver is on the move.
LifeSaver also has a parental mode which, when activated, will notify parents when a driver attempts to use their phone when driving.
Ubicar provides teens with powerful incentives to drive safely.
Once downloaded on the teenager’s smartphone, UbiCar will track and monitor each trip with a score and information delivered to the driver at the end of a trip.
The incentive into using UbiCar is that it allows good teen drivers to get fair insurance quotes that reflect their personal driving ability.
Designed to reassure parents that their teenagers survive each trip they take, Life360 allows teenagers to add family members to a map which sends an alert when the teen arrives safely at their destination.
Life360 is purely about giving parents peace of mind and it comes with helpful features including crash detection and emergency response tools.
These apps are currently available in Australia and can provide parents with the tools they need to monitor, educate and reward safe teenage drivers. In today’s world, that can prove to be priceless.
When your teenager gets their new wheels have an AutoGuru mechanic check over the car to make sure it is mechanically safe for the new driver.
Clancy has been working in, and writing about, the automotive industry for half her adult life.
She loves her work and all things automotive and looks forward to the day she is considered a guru on the subject, an auto guru perhaps.