Distracted Driving: How New Cars Can Teach Your Teen to Be a Better Driver
Distractions can come in many forms, and for parents of teen drivers, these distractions are both concerning and dangerous. Though parents are still an important part of making teens safe drivers, car companies have begun to provide some assistance.
The safety advancements made by car companies like Chevy and Ford have put more control in parents’ hands. Now, thanks to these companies, parents can find solutions for reducing some of the major distractions that teens face while driving.
With cell phone use leading to 12 percent of teen car accidents, car companies have begun to tackle the distractions that are caused by cell phones.
- Ford has implemented a SYNC operating system that can be programmed to read and deliver texts aloud. This operating system was created in response to the need for hands-free communication.
- Parents can use Ford’s ‘MyKey’ feature to block calls and texts while their teen is driving.
- Hyundai’s Sonata models have a screen that can display the teen’s smartphone interface; this prevents young drivers from using their smart phone.
Knowing what your teen is doing behind the wheel can help save lives.
- The 2016 Chevy Malibu has a system called ‘Teen Driver’ that can detect when a teen is driving the vehicle. Parents can program the system to warn them if their teen surpasses a set speed. The ‘Teen Driver’ system can even pull vehicle reports for parents, which can be used as teaching tools to discuss safe driving habits.
- Hyundai has introduced a similar system, ‘Blue Link,’ which will alert parents via email, text, or phone message if their teen has exceeded the set speed limit or is out driving past curfew.
Clicking through radio stations and cranking up the music has also been addressed by some of the car companies’ new safety features.
- Chevy’s ‘Teen Driver’ system will detect if seat belts are used, and if not, teens can’t turn on the radio. Likewise, if the driver unbuckles their seatbelt, the music turns off. Parents can even set a maximum music volume level, so no more jamming out at high speeds.
The importance of teaching young drivers about the dangers of distracted driving is critical, especially with the continually evolving world of technology. According to the Centers for Disease Control, six teens die every day in a car accident. With states enforcing distracted driving laws prohibiting texting, calling, and general cell phone use, parents can turn to these new car technologies to protect their teens and promote safer roads.
We also have some resources that may help. Check out the Teen Driver Section of our website. There you can find Tips for Parents of Teen Drivers, a directory of Pittsburgh Area Driving Schools, licensing laws, and more.