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Could Technology Keep Teenage Drivers Safe?

According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, teenage drivers (drivers between 16 and 19 years old) have the “highest average annual crash and traffic violation rates of any age group.” In fact, teenagers account for more than 35 percent of all fatal car accidents caused by speeding.

Teenagers take risks while driving, and those risks can have disastrous results. Compared to adults, teenage drivers are less experienced, less likely to detect hazards and more likely to take risks.

Now, some parents are choosing to monitor their teenage drivers and teach lessons even when they are not in the car with their kids. Dashboard cameras such as Drivecam monitor teenagers’ driving and report unsafe driving behavior to parents. The parents can then use that information to teach their teenagers better driving habits. This is a step up from the more traditional “how’s my driving?” stickers that allow other drivers to call and report a teenager’s poor driving.

It is a step that many teenagers are skeptical about — they may question whether their parents trust them. If you choose to use a dashboard camera, tell your teenager about it and explain that the goal is not to monitor them but to help them improve their driving skills.

Of course, even with a dashboard camera, it is important to speak to your teenager about driving safety and set a good example on the road. If we all do our part to help our teenagers understand the consequences of risky driving behavior, we can reduce the number of fatal teenage accidents. Today, car accidents are the number one cause of teenage death in the U.S. With the right instruction, they don’t have to be.

Source: CBS New York, “Seen At 11: New Technology Could Help Teens Stay Safe Behind The Wheel,” Apr. 4, 2013
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