Special Report: Tech tools to keep teen drivers safe - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Special Report: Tech tools to keep teen drivers safe

Posted: Updated:
  • More newsMore>>

  • Pope Francis, huge crowd joyously celebrate Easter

    Pope Francis, huge crowd joyously celebrate Easter

    Sunday, April 20 2014 6:42 AM EDT2014-04-20 10:42:36 GMT
    Pope Francis is celebrating Christianity's most joyous day, Easter Sunday, under sunny skies in St. Peter's Square.More >>
    Celebrating Easter Sunday, Christianity's most joyous and hopeful day, Pope Francis prayed for peace in Ukraine and Syria and for an end to the terrorist attacks in Nigeria that have targeted so many Christians.More >>
  • Shootout in eastern Ukraine leaves 1 dead

    Shootout in eastern Ukraine leaves 1 dead

    Sunday, April 20 2014 6:22 AM EDT2014-04-20 10:22:49 GMT
    The Ukrainian and Russian governments are reporting a shootout at a checkpoint set up by pro-Russian insurgents in eastern Ukraine that has left one person dead and others hospitalized with gunshot wounds.More >>
    The Ukrainian and Russian governments are reporting a shootout at a checkpoint set up by pro-Russian insurgents in eastern Ukraine that has left one person dead and others hospitalized with gunshot wounds.More >>
  • 4 French journalists home after long Syrian ordeal

    4 French journalists home after long Syrian ordeal

    Sunday, April 20 2014 5:42 AM EDT2014-04-20 09:42:34 GMT
    Four French journalists kidnapped and held for 10 months in Syria have returned home to France.More >>
    Four French journalists kidnapped and held for 10 months in Syria returned home Sunday to joyful families, a presidential welcome and questions about how France managed to obtain their freedom from Islamic extremists.More >>
TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in America. Teen drivers are three times more likely to die in a crash than adults.

Parents of teen drivers know the fear that comes with sending them out on the road alone for the first time, but new technology is helping parents keep tabs on their young drivers, even whey they cannot be in the car.

Some parents have installed dashboard cameras, similar to those in police cars, inside their young drivers' cars. Some cameras even have systems that start recording only when the driver does something deemed unsafe.

"It gave me the comfort to let him start driving alone," said Catherine Gabell, who installed a camera in her son Jeff's car.

Video from the camera is sent to a professional, who forwards it with his advice to Gabell. Jeff says he was not happy about the camera at first, but thinks it has made him a safer driver.

"You know that if you screw up they're going to catch you and it's going to get reported," said Jeff. "It's a good thing I think. It's helped me."

The in-car camera system and professional advice cost about $900 per year.

Another option available to parents is known as ‘geofencing.' The technology uses GPS data to determine the speed and location of the vehicle. If a teen driver goes too fast, or exits an area specified by parents, they are notified.

"It can actually let the parent log onto a website and see where the car is," said Carroll Lachnit of Edmunds.com.

Some car manufacturers incorporate geofence technology into their vehicles or offer it as an add-on service for a few dollars a month. Aftermarket geofence devices can run several hundred dollars.

For parents on a tighter budget, there is a low-tech option. Parents have begun slapping "how's my driving?" stickers with their phone numbers on the bumpers of their teens' cars.

"It could be that just having that phone number on a bumper sticker on it, on the back of a car, might give a teenager pause before they do something they shouldn't be doing," said Lachnit.

Some say these methods go too far, and invade the privacy of young drivers. But Loretta Worters, Vice President of the Insurance Information Institute, says it is all about safety.

"It's not a matter of not trusting them but a matter of improving their driving skills," said Worters.

Copyright 2013 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow