Teenage drivers might have a bad reputation in the media, but a number of statistics back up the concerns of parents and other motorists, with youngsters being deemed more likely to crash than experienced motorists
However, car manufacturers have taken a number of steps in an attempt to prevent less experienced drivers from crashing on the roads. The latest company to throw its hat into the ring is Chevrolet, which has developed a ‘Teen Driver’ system, which works to ensure that young motorists are driving safely.
Teen Driver encourages driver and passengers to wear their seatbelts by muting the sound system until they buckle up and providing audible warnings when the vehicle is travelling above the speed limit.
We developed this system so parents could use it as a teaching tool with their kids – they can discuss and reinforce safe driving habits.
While other safety systems – such as Ford’s MyKey – let parents set a top speed limit, maximum volume level for the speakers and prevent young drivers from disengaging stability control systems, Chevrolet’s version goes one step further, by giving parents a report on their child’s performance behind the wheel. Parents can monitor the maximum speed that the car was driven at, how many times the stability control and anti-lock brakes were engaged and whether any automatic braking systems were activated by the driver not anticipating the need to slow down.
Backing up the move to monitor young drivers’ behaviour behind the wheel, European drivers aged under 25 are around twice as likely as older motorists to be involved in a fatal accident, while American figures show that drivers aged between 16 and 19 are around three times as likely to be involved in a deadly collision.
Explaining the rationale for allowing parents to monitor their children’s driving, General Motors safety engineer MaryAnn Beebe said: “We developed this system so parents could use it as a teaching tool with their kids – they can discuss and reinforce safe driving habits.”
Picture: General Motors