Technology is helping parents keep track of teenage drivers, reports the Christian Science Monitor.
From real-time GPS tracking systems to onboard cameras, technology is increasingly offering parents tools to track and even control how their teenagers drive. Many of the options are borrowed from fleet managers who have used them for years to monitor truckers and other commercial drivers.
With car crashes the No. 1 killer of teens, taking 5,000 to 6,000 young lives each year, many parents want to learn the truth about how their children drive.
Priced at $140, the CarChip “plugs into the onboard computer in most cars and records up to 75 hours of driving data.” Parents can remove the chip and download the data on their home computer.
. . . GPS-enabled trackers that instantly transmit information are becoming increasingly available. Some will even send text messages to parents if the car exceeds a certain speed or travels beyond a predefined area.
. . . The Sharper Image catalog even includes a GPS tracking device that it says “secretly tracks anything that moves–your car or your kid, or your kid in your car.” The monthly airtime packages range from $20 (for updates every 60 minutes) to $50 (for updates every five minutes).
Soon to come for all of us: Cars that won’t turn on if the seatbelt isn’t fastened.