High-tech checks on teen drivers

Parents are using technology to monitor their teen-agers’ driving, reports the Washington Post.

Figuring their children are better off annoyed than dead, parents have opened a new front in the battle to lower teenagers’ accident rates. Using technology employed by truck fleets to monitor drivers, families are spending as much as $2,500 for microcomputers and “black boxes” that feed speed and braking data into a home computer; cockpit video cameras; Global Positioning System devices that track teenagers through their cell phones; and lower-tech surveillance, such as the Tell-My-Mom.com bumper sticker.

There’s no right to privacy when you’re driving, a stepfather says.

In a 26-week trial, the Mayo Clinic put $1,400 cameras in the cars of high school students in Minnesota. “During the trial, students’ near misses, swerves and hard braking that trigger the camera dropped from 24 a week to nearly zero.” Nearly all the students used their seat belts, compared to one third when the trial began.

If a consumer market develops for the technology, the price is expected to go down.

About Joanne


  1. This is silly. If you don’t trust your kid to drive, just don’t let the kid drive.
    Teenagers are not large toddlers and shouldn’t be treated as such.

  2. You know – you can trust a person an incredible amount, but something weird happens when they get behind the wheel.
    Especially when you add testosterone and teenage girls to the mix.
    When driving, teenagers frequently do behave as large toddlers – and should be treated as such. There are a couple of times in my memory when I wish I’d known someone was watching my driving…