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Parents equip teen drivers' cars with cameras, GPS trackers

As we have previously discussed in this Detroit Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog, the leading cause of death to U.S. teenagers is car accidents. Teenagers, who are new to driving and are relatively inexperienced, often simply do not have the safest driving habits and this can have tragic results.

There have been many reports suggesting that teenagers are ill-equipped to handle the distractions of technology behind the wheel--from their cellphones, to GPS navigators to stereo systems. Now, there is technology that has been designed to specifically encourage teens to drive safe and many parents of teenage drivers say that it helps.

One mechanism is called the Drivecam. This is a dashboard camera that activates when a driver does something unsafe. The video is watched by the Drivecam company, which then reports unsafe activities to the driver's parents. The company also provides suggestions about how the teen can drive safer.

Simply having the dashboard camera in the car may encourage some teenagers to drive safely.

Installation and service for a Drivecam reportedly costs about $900 annually, but there have been some reports that auto insurance companies may begin providing them free of charge.

Another device that some parents are having their teen drivers use is called Geofencing, which is actually already installed in some brand new cars. Geofencing sends an alert to parents when a teen driver speeds or goes outside of an established perimeter.

A much less high-tech option that some parents have tried is simply a bumper sticker that asks motorists to contact the teen's parents to report poor driving. Again, simply having the sticker on the car might be enough of a warning to teens.

Whether these tools are right for an individual driver depends on a number of factors. It is important that parents do all they can to ensure their teenagers will take the responsibility of driving seriously. When they fail to do so, they are putting themselves and everyone else on the roads in extreme danger.

Source: CBS New York, "New Technology Could Help Teens Stay Safe Behind The Wheel," April 4, 2013

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