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Teen drivers: it's for your own good

To save teen lives, a number of car manufacturers are introducing smart driving features. What can location intelligence add to the mix?

As many fraught parents know: teenagers aren’t always the safest drivers. In the US, as many as 41% don’t always put on a seat belt, they underestimate road dangers, make errors, they speed and can become distracted when behind the wheel.

Sadly, this is has led to motor vehicle accidents being the leading cause of teen deaths in the US. Six people aged 16–19 die in a crash every day, with hundreds more injured, in often preventable accidents.

With so much at stake, what’s the world doing to reduce the risk?

Smart tech for teen safety

Many car manufacturers are starting to use smart technology, which often has location technology at the heart.


The latest is Chevrolet’s Buckle to Drive, which will be fitted to all Traverse, Malibu and Colorado vehicles from 2020 – an extension of the company’s existing “Teen Driver” mode. Teen Driver is a bundle of pre-determined driver persona settings married to a programmable key fob, that:

  • Prevents the gearshift from being moved out of “park” for 20 seconds
  • Keeps radio on mute until seat belts are secured
  • Enables parents to set maximum speed and audio limits
  • Provides a report card to track driving behavior

Alerts and apps

Other manufacturers have comparable systems. Ford’s MyKey works by offering a similar driver profile system with programmed keys. The Ford system can direct calls to voicemail, set top speeds and establish geographic limits. It also issues warnings when teens drive in restricted areas.

Then a string of third-party apps and plug-in devices take things a step further. They monitor driving in a range of ways, such as alerting parents with an email, text or call when a teen drives outside pre-set parameters for speed, curfews and location.

The TrueMotion Family app, for instance, tells parents where their teens are, how they got there and how responsibly they’re driving.

How location intelligence fits in

As a company that cares deeply about improving – and saving – lives, HERE also has something to add to the conversation.

We understand that, while teens and parents want to be safe, sometimes circumstances are out of their control. Automotive location intelligence from HERE offers drivers an extra pair of eyes – with accurate data about road conditions, weather, the relationship of their vehicle to others, and more, so they're more aware of what's around them, and can make better decisions.

HERE Hazard Warnings is one of our key safety offerings. It alerts drivers – and in future, autonomous vehicles – about upcoming road conditions along their journey. It promises fewer surprises, fewer incidents, greater safety. Intelligent location technology like this can help teens stay safe with real-time and historical vehicle locations, speeds, routes and a host of other vehicle, alert and roadside data that can be built into specialist services.

So no matter how little a teen may understand the rules of the road, parents can rest assured that technology is looking after them. Now we just need to wait for autonomous vehicles to take the wheel.

See other ways HERE can help keep drivers safe.

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