Balancing safety and connectivity: How driving safety apps help build safe driving habits for teens
The excitement of getting behind the wheel for the first time as a teenager is a rite of passage that many of us have experienced. But, as parents, that excitement is often replaced with worry as we watch our own teenagers get ready to hit the road.
It’s no secret that driving can be dangerous, especially for inexperienced teenage drivers. Driving offers teenagers a sense of freedom and independence, but it also poses an increased risk of accidents.
According to the CDC’s report on underlying deaths, unintentional injury is the leading cause of death among teenagers aged 15 to 19 in the United States. This includes motor vehicle accidents.
Compared to older drivers, teen drivers are more likely to underestimate or be unable to identify hazardous situations. They are more prone than adults to make crucial mistakes that can result in severe accidents.
The number one priority for parents is the safety of their children. Parenting your child through the freedoms of growing up can be challenging, and driving is a big step. With teens craving adult experiences, riskier decisions are at the forefront.
That’s why we are constantly on the lookout for ways to keep our teenagers safe while driving. And luckily, modern technology has come to the rescue in the form of driving safety apps.
What are driving safety apps?
Driving safety apps are mobile applications designed to help drivers practice safe driving, prevent accidents, and reduce distractions while on the road. They allow parents to monitor their teens’ location and driving behaviors, such as speed and phone usage.
These apps are also an excellent way to encourage and instill safe driving habits. For example, a teenage risky driving study revealed that monitoring systems that alerted parents significantly reduced risky and reckless driving.
It won’t come as a surprise that these apps represent a new era of safe driving assurances, providing both parents and children with peace of mind while on the road.
How driving safety apps help build safe driving habits for teens
Here are some of the ways driving safety apps can help teenagers become better drivers:
1. Monitoring speed
Teenagers often have a heavy foot on the gas pedal, which can lead to dangerous situations on the road. Young driver statistics show that about 35% of male drivers and 18% of female drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 who were involved in fatal crashes in 2020 were speeding at the time of the accident.
To help address this issue, driving safety apps have incorporated GPS tracking technology that monitors the speed at which the driver travels. If the teenage driver exceeds the speed limit, the app sends a friendly warning to remind them to slow down and avoid potential accidents.
For example, FamiSafe’s drive safety feature and Bouncie offer powerful tools to monitor teenage drivers’ behavior on the road. Both apps provide real-time location tracking and essential information, including:
- Overall distance traveled
- Average speed
- Highest recorded speed
- Hard brakes
- Trip reports
2. Preventing distractions
Imagine driving on a busy highway and suddenly receiving a notification on your phone. It’s tempting to check it, but that one moment of distraction could lead to a serious accident.
When it comes to teenagers, distracted driving usually involves texting or talking on the phone. A youth risk behavior survey in 2019 found that about 39% of high school students in the United States confessed to texting or emailing while driving at least once.
OtoZen is a favored app for parents to track their teenagers’ driving habits. It goes beyond location, speed, and hard brake tracking by monitoring phone usage, like texting while driving. The app provides reports for all connected family members, encouraging your teens to reduce distracted driving behaviors.
The OtoZen app goes the extra mile by initiating mild phone vibrations when it senses handling while driving. It also provides a hands-free option, sending notifications through voice messages to limit distractions.
3. Encouraging safe driving habits
Driving safety apps not only monitor driving behavior but also offer feedback and suggestions to help teen drivers develop safer driving habits. They use speed, acceleration, braking, and phone usage to provide recommendations on how to improve driving skills.
Apps focused on encouraging safe driving habits often adopt a positive reinforcement approach. For example, the LifeSaver app implemented a monthly reward system for good driving behavior using reports to score your teen’s driving.
Positive reinforcement is a proven method for promoting desired behaviors in people, and it’s no different when it comes to driving habits. This approach can also have positive impacts on mental health, lead to improved mood, decreased stress, and increased self-esteem, as well as motivate them to talk more openly about feelings.
As teenagers are still developing and learning to navigate complex emotions, positive reinforcement can help them build confidence and reduce the stress associated with driving.
Privacy concerns with driving safety apps
One of the most significant hurdles is getting teenagers to buy into the idea of using an app that allows their parents to track them.
It’s understandable that teenagers may feel their privacy is being invaded – we’ve all been there. The constant monitoring and feedback may even become overbearing, leading to resistance towards driving safety apps.
It’s essential to ensure that your teenagers understand the privacy policies of any app they use and are comfortable sharing their information with you. It’s better to communicate with them openly and set clear expectations.
As parents, we will always worry about our children’s safety. While driving is a significant step in a teen’s road to freedom and independence, the dangers remain prominent.
Driving safety apps offer a valuable solution that can provide you with peace of mind while simultaneously helping your teenagers develop safe driving habits that will last a lifetime. With the right driving safety app and proper implementation, you can balance safety and connectivity and ensure your teenage drivers stay safe on the road.
Gabby Baglino is a digital marketing specialist for OtoZen, with several years of experience in business marketing, writing, and content creation.