High-Tech Devices Help Texas Parents Keep Tabs On Teen Drivers

In the United States, more teenage lives are lost in traffic accidents each year than any to other cause of death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In an effort to keep kids safe on the road, some parents in Texas and around the country are turning to new technology that allows them to monitor teens’ driving even when they are on their own.

Gadgets monitor teen drivers

One high-tech safety gadget, called Drivecam, is a dashboard camera that activates whenever a young driver does something unsafe behind the wheel, according to a recent CBS report. The video footage is then reviewed by employees at the company’s data center and reported to the teen’s parents, along with suggestions for safer driving.

Parents are encouraged to review the information with their child and use it as an educational opportunity to promote safer driving practices. As an added benefit, the knowledge that they are being recorded may prompt some teen drivers to monitor their own behavior more carefully behind the wheel and avoid taking unnecessary risks. The device and service cost about $900 per year, but is covered by some insurance plans, CBS reported.

Geofencing is another device used by safety-minded parents to help promote safe driving habits among teens. This technology notifies parents when specific behaviors occur, such as exceeding a certain speed or driving outside of a set perimeter. Some newer vehicles come equipped with Geofencing, while parents may elect to have it installed by a third party in other vehicles.

Teen drivers face unique risks

Teen drivers face a particularly high risk of accidents because they are typically less experienced than older drivers and may be more prone to certain risky behaviors than adults. In addition, the mere presence of other teens in a vehicle may make some teen drivers more likely to crash, according to a pair of studies published recently in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

In one of the studies, researchers surveyed 667 teen drivers who had been involved in serious car accidents. Of those who said they had been distracted prior to the crash, 71 percent of males and 47 percent of females said they had been distracted by a passenger. Teen males were also significantly more likely to drive aggressively or commit illegal maneuvers when other teens were present in the vehicle, compared with males of the same age driving alone.

Texas graduated driver licensing laws

In order to reduce the crash risks among teens and other novice drivers, Texas and many other states have passed graduated driver licensing laws. These laws place certain limits on teens during their first months or years of driving. In Texas, for example, newly licensed drivers are barred from driving between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m., and may carry no more than one non-relative passenger under the age of 21.

Texas drivers who have been injured in vehicle accidents may be entitled to receive compensation for their injuries, lost income, medical expenses and other harm resulting from the crash. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer for more information.