According to Transport Canada, only 13% of licensed drivers are between the ages of 16 and 24, but they account for 24% of auto fatalities and 26% of serious injuries. Teen and young adult drivers are at the highest risk of death or serious injury of all Canadian driving age groups.
All provinces have some form of Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) that helps new drivers adjust to safe driving habits. Technology can also help. Parents can find new tech to help keep their teens safe, including Bluetooth-enabled devices that link to cell phones and onboard telematics in newer Canadian cars. But the devices aren't just for teens: they can also help keep parents and older relatives safe on the road.
Which Devices Can Prevent Distracted Driving?
Cellcontrol DriveID is a distracted driving prevention device that pairs with your teen's cell phone. It will stop texting, social media use, web browsing, and other cell phone distractions while the car is in motion. The device allows hands-free calling and navigation directions. Cellcontrol DriveID works with Apple, Android, Windows, and BREW devices.
General Motors offers an option with its OnStar service that prevents distracted driving that's named "Call Me Out." You can record a message in your own voice that will "call your teen out" if they start texting while they're behind the wheel and their car is in motion.
What Other Safety Features Are Available in Teen Driver Safety Tech?
Teen driving safety apps and onboard telematics programs like OnStar work similarly to insurance company devices that help to confirm or encourage safe driving habits. Depending on the system you choose, you can use several safety features, including:
- Speed warnings: Includes audible and visual speed warnings when your teen driver crosses a local speed limit.
- Speed limiter: Limits the car's top speed, eliminating the potential for high-speed crashes.
- Audio limit: Set a maximum volume for your car's audio system. You can not only increase safety and alertness, but you may also preserve the integrity of your car's speakers with this feature.
- Buckle to drive: Prevent the car from shifting out of "Park" until the driver's seat belt is buckled.
- Seat belt audio mute: Mutes audio on the infotainment system until the driver and passenger have buckled their seat belts.
Can Teen Driving Safety Tech Help Teach Better Driving?
Teen driving safety tech apps come with driving "report cards" which notify you and your teen of how safely they're driving. Some systems that use in-car telematics provide a driving report card directly on the dash. Other systems report using mobile phone apps. Similar systems are used in the trucking industry to improve safety for long-distance drivers.
According to Canada's injury prevention organization, Parachute, the top driving risks for teens are impaired driving, distracted driving, lack of skill and experience, and speeding. Along with completing a young driver’s training course, some teen driving safety technology can help reduce these risks. Some insurers offer discounts for good students and for usage-based insurance (UBI) which uses similar driving tech to teen driving safety technology.