Help Behind The Wheel: Technology Takes Aim At Teen Drivers

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Car accidents are the leading cause of death among teen drivers and officials are using this week to highlight basic safety tips to keep young drivers safe.

Teen Drivers

National Teen Driver Safety Week encourages parents to discuss the rules of the road before a child ever gets behind the wheel.

A driver’s license means new responsibilities for a young driver and the driver’s parents.

“Parents are the key to a young driver’s success, although it’s a teen in the driver’s seat,” said Julie Vallese, of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “It’s parents who have control.”

This is National Teen Driver Safety Week. Vallese says it’s a good time for parents to stress the basics of safe driving.

“Wear your seatbelt, obey the speed limit, don’t drive impaired, don’t drive distracted and when it comes to teens, limit the number of passengers that you have in a car,” Vallese said.

And driving can be especially dangerous for teens,  Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens between the ages of 15 and 18.

“What one thing that I would just add to that parents can discuss the consequences if the team driver violates the rule,” Vallese said. “It may be a ticket. It may be a loss of license, but it may be the loss of their life.”

And parents of teen drivers may also get some help from technology. The Ford Motor Company offers what called MyKey.

“They can have some gentle reminders when you’re not sitting there in the car with them,” said Desi Ujkashevic, the Ford Global Director of Automotive Safety. “Whether it’s belt minders, low fuel gauge warnings or frankly, depending on your driver and we all know that each of our children are different.”

The technology can be adjusted to each individual driver.

“Some of our children need to be reminded around speeding or excessive speeds,” Ujkashevic said.

But tech is only a tool for parents.

“Good basic habits are so essential to those young drivers that we know don’t have the experience behind the wheel,” Ujkashevic said.

Good habits, that can lead to safe road ahead.

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