NHTSA data shows that unaccompanied 16 and 17-year-olds crash nine times more often than adults. And when their parents are out of the car, seatbelt use plummets to less than 40 percent of the national average. While the accident data shows that teens and their teenage passengers are by far the most accident-prone group, that isn’t the case when Mom or Dad is riding along. A monitoring tool may be the “next best thing” to having a parent riding shotgun, though few teens are likely to admit that.
Teenagers tend to respond by driving more safely with such devices, says J. Peter Kissinger, CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “People raise questions like, ‘Does that destroy the trust?’ It probably depends on the relationship you have with your teenager.”
I look at it like this, would I give my seven year old a computer without any monitoring? Of course not, they don’t have the skills to determine all the dangers and avoid them. So, if I have a tool that I can use to protect my inexperienced driver, I am going to use it.