Many people don’t realize that if you had to make a list of some of the most dangerous groups of people who are on the road at any given moment, “new teenage drivers” would absolutely be right at the top. According to DoSomething.org, an incredible 33% of all deaths among those aged 13 to 19 in 2010 occurred as the result of motor vehicle crashes – a higher percentage than any other age bracket. Likewise, 16-year-old drivers have a higher crash rate themselves than drivers of any other age, including the elderly.
Part of this comes down to troubling statistics like this one: Over half of all teens surveyed by RMIAA.org said that they talk on the phone while driving, and not all of them use hands-free devices.
All of this is to say that for parents, in particular, keeping track of teen drivers and how safe they are on the road is always of paramount importance. GPS tracking devices can be an efficient way to do exactly that by providing state-of-the-art functionality that extends far deeper than just being able to see where a teen is at any given moment.
The Benefits of Real-Time Location Updates
The major benefits of real-time location updates involve more than just being able to see exactly where someone is at any given moment. Because geolocation information is being transmitted by a device to a satellite and to the end-user in real-time, it’s also able to provide other valuable data like direction and even speed. For a parent, this is huge: You don’t just get an accurate reflection of where your teen is, but you can also see where they’re headed, where they end up, and how fast they got there.
Hardwired Trackers vs. Battery-Powered Trackers
One of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make in terms of determining which GPS tracking system is right for you involves hardwired trackers vs. battery-powered units.
Battery-powered units run on their own power and tend to be small, compact units that are perfect for concealment. Likewise, if your family has more than one car that the teen uses and you need the flexibility to move the unit from one vehicle to another, a battery-powered unit is absolutely the way to go.
Hardwired units can also be concealed for discreet use, but, as the name suggests, they’re hardwired directly into the inner workings of the car. While it’s true that they’re much more difficult to remove or to move from one vehicle to another, they are perfect for monitoring driving patterns along with information like location. If your teen is prone to extreme breaking or tends to speed more often than not, a hardwired unit will provide you with the analytical data you need to do something about it.
Encouraging Positive Driving Habits
Another reason why using GPS tracking to monitor new teenage drivers is so important leads directly into their most important benefit of all: They give parents a new and effective way to encourage positive driving habits with their kids whenever possible.
One of the reasons why teenage drivers make poor choices in the first place has to do with a lack of accountability. If a teen gets a cell phone call while they’re driving in the car by themselves, they might answer it – however, they likely wouldn’t even think about doing so if their parent were in the car, as well.
In many ways, GPS tracking devices act as a type of “virtual parent” or, at the very least, allow parents to maintain a constant presence with teen drivers at all times. If teen drivers are aware of the fact that their parents are never more than a few quick button taps away from seeing where they are, where they’re going and how fast they’re getting there, they’re much more likely to make good decisions – even if begrudgingly so. These good decisions then give way to good habits that stay with a teen for a lifetime.
In the end, using GPS tracking devices to monitor new teenage drivers goes far beyond just providing parents with access to raw data. They provide a valuable peace-of-mind that only comes with knowing that you’re doing whatever you can to help make sure that your teen isn’t one of the 2,823 teenagers nationwide who died in a car crash in 2012 alone.