As the parent of two teens, one already driving and the other about to get her learner’s permit, the subject of teen driving is one that makes me cringe but also one to which I pay close attention. And now that it’s summer, our still-wet-behind-the-ears drivers have more time on their hands and abundant
excuses, uh I mean, reasons to borrow the car.
Bt, let’s not despair, here is the kind of news on teen driving that might be calming instead of anxiety-provoking: Speedbump™ is a smartphone app that allows parents to monitor their teenager’s safe driving on neighborhood streets, secondary roads or highways. The Speedbump app, available on a contract-free monthly charge of $9.95, can be downloaded and parents set up the speed limits by type of road. When the app-enabled phone is in the car, Speedbump detects the speed at which the car is moving and driving behavior, even if the teen in question is a passenger and not the driver. Watch this video to see how it works:
Speedbump works with the phone’s GPS to assess speed. An alert is sent to the parents by email or text to notify them of any broken driving rules. In addition to speed monitoring, Speedbump has personal safety features like Help, Check-in, Locate and Emergency Tracking. These send messages to parents when teens click the emergency appropriate app button to request assistance. The messages contain date, time and location. Peace of mind for you, and perhaps even for them.
Teens will want to know that this is NOT a tracking device. Privacy is ensured unless precise location needs to be disclosed in case of emergency.
“Speedbump was developed based on well-respected and proven parenting techniques for keeping teens safe – parental involvement, clear-cut rules and well-defined consequences.”
How well this app is accepted and adopted by teens will largely be determined by how it is presented to them. That is, the Speedbump is NOT a spying device, but simply a tool to make them more aware of their own driving behavior. And as an emergency tool if ever required. And, it’s not crazy to think that some teens might actually welcome the app, to help them feel safer, especially as passengers. Their driving friends will know that they must also abide by the driving & speeding rules. Peer pressure with a new safety twist. Like!
And, for those parents that are equally fearful at the thought that their kids might be texting, talking on the phone or just plain goofing around while driving, here is a great profile on Laura Myers, the founder of the ICUdrive.com program to which unsafe driving behavior can be reported with the aid of a bumper sticker.
Lastly, should you wish to further our edification even more, know that Speedbump has put together this great list of resources for all matters relating to teen driving and safety.
Here’s to a very safe summer!