Your son has just turned 16 and is studying to get his driver’s license. He’s psyched. You’re not. 

As a parent, it’s normal to worry about the safety of your teen driver. Current statistics are alarming. According to the New York Department of Health, motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of death for teenagers in the state. Every day, an estimated 10 people are killed or hospitalized due to collisions involving a teen driver. 

What can you do to make things safer on the road for your son? One way is to investigate and use some of the tech-based driving supports specifically aimed at young drivers.  

Manufacturer tools 

Many leading car manufacturers have built-in tools that can give parents peace of mind when their teenager is behind the wheel.  

  • The MyKey system by Ford supports responsible driving by providing parents with custom settings. They include a seatbelt minder that mutes the speakers and makes noise until the belt buckle clicks, a limit on speaker volume while driving and top speed limits that prevent your teen from trying to reach lightspeed. 
  • The Chevrolet Teen Driver Technology is a virtual driving coach that issues speed alerts and enables parents to limit radio volume. They can also get a “report card” on their teen’s driving activities. 
  • Volkswagen’s Car-Net has useful tools for parents that include built-in alerts for speed levels and location (so you’ll know if your teenager decides to go off on a sudden road trip). You will also receive an emergency alert on your phone if an accident does occur. 

Driver safety apps

If your son or daughter is driving an older car that doesn’t have any of the bells and whistles above, then certain apps offer a measure of support and protection. 

  • License+ is a new driver coaching app that tracks speed, acceleration, braking, and other stats. It works with Automatic, a plug-in that you install on your car to have all data sent to the app via 3G or Bluetooth. 
  • Life360 is a popular communication app that includes a driver safety mode. Parents can use it to track location and receive alerts for rapid acceleration, hard braking, and even collisions. 
  • The AT&T Drive Mode app silences text alerts and other notifications as soon as it senses that the person is driving. 
  • Apple users can access the Do Not Disturb While Driving in all new versions of iOS. Once activated, it detects when your teenager is in the car and silences text and app alerts. Anyone who sends them a text will be notified that the person is driving and will reply as soon as possible. 

Getting their driver’s license is a rite of passage for teenagers. Thanks to new technologies, it doesn’t have to be one that parents automatically dread. 

Jayson Lutzky is a New York City personal injury attorney offering free in-person initial consultations at his Bronx office. If you were seriously injured in an accident, then home and hospital visits are also available. Mr. Lutzky has over 35  years of legal experience and has helped obtain millions of dollars in compensation for previous clients. If you were injured in an accident, call 718-514-6619 to speak with Mr. Lutzky’s office.