Car Cameras Record Teen Driving Behavior – Yeah or Nay?
October 20, 2007
There are dozens of different statistics about teen driving and they all mesh together with one commonality – traffic crashes are the leading cause of death in teens. Many different entities have created various programs to combat this deadly teenage trend with education programs and reporting systems. However, some insurance companies are taking things a step further – car cameras and GPS equipment to monitor teen driving behavior.
While there has been no official feedback from the teen faction, you can bet there will be some fallout about privacy issues and entitlement. Teens will likely plead to parents that it is not fair and that they have a right to privacy. While the privacy thing is certainly true, what teens should realize is that driving is a privilege and it is every parent’s right to monitor their kids for their own safety if they feel the teens are not ready to handle it on their own.
These cameras will record both video and audio of teen driving habits. Luckily, thus far, the majority of problems have been with inattentiveness rather than aggressive or purposely reckless driving. American Family Insurance is one of the companies that are participating in this program. The footage of the driving behavior is sent to a special media center for analysis where it is evaluated and a “game plan” created to correct the behaviors which is then sent to the parents.
Teens can breathe a sigh of relief that personal conversations and private moments are not relayed to the parents, only information directly related to driving. The camera kicks on via a motion sensor which captures swerving, hard or sudden braking, collision and even hasty acceleration. It is not on the entire time that the teenager is driving.
Another company has introduced the Teensurance program which allows parents to track their teen’s driving behaviors via an onboard GPS system. Parents can set up parameters based on speed, curfew and even distance. In other words, parents are almost behind the scenes remote controllers with their teens at the wheel.
Teenagers are likely not too enthused about this program either as it seems as if their “freedom” is being usurped. So where do we draw the line as parents when it comes to monitoring and protecting our teenage drivers? Do we blindly hand over the keys and cross our fingers? That answer should be a definite no. Instead, these programs like the camera and GPS system are just additional protective tools that are available to the parents for additional peace of mind.
So teens listen up – just go with the flow on these different monitoring devices and learn from them. Within another year or two, those things will be gone and guess what? You will likely not drive any differently because safe driving, thanks to the monitoring, has become an ingrained habit. That is actually a great legacy from your parents but will likely not be appreciated until you mature some more.
The Driver Education Handbook for Parents provides a practical, step-by-step approach to instructing your teen how to become a Safe Driver through behavior, attitude, skills, and experience.