Life can seem a series of random events sewn together. Between work and ever amounting array of task, our attention can be overwhelmed. As parents, we always try to focus on our children, especially when driving. The value of technology isn’t how it allows us to do this quicker but, instead, it is the extra help that are offered to us to ensure that we can improve upon the quality the tasks we compete and safety we cherish for our family and ourselves.
The safety of our kids while on the road is a major arena for new technology to enter. Along with practical parenting, technology that protects are infants as our teens has started seeing fruition and there are now many new tools that, we as parents, can invest in to secure our kids safety.
Teen Driving Monitors
In 2015, The Centers for Disease Control reported that car crashes are leading source of death for teens in the U.S. with for 2,000 reported adolescent fatalities occurring to road accidents. Ultimately, when you give your teen car keys, you hope they are ready for the experience. You have to monitor their behavior and attitude. You have to reach the point where you feel it would be safe for them to drive. But sometimes what our kids are doing can be different from what they do outside our presence.
The most important advice to considering in terms of parenting your teen driver is to instill with them the habit of fastening seatbelts. According the CDC, 47% of teens who died in 2015 didn’t wear a seat belt. In addition, many states have primary enforcement of seat belt laws with occupants and drivers under 18 years of age. Wearing a seat belt is essential for teen drivers and fastening seat belts should be second nature for them when they enter a car. This should start when they are children. By enforcing the principle of fasting seat belts as important as closing car door before a trip, parents can ensure their teens carry this principle as drivers.
The Dangers of Distracted Driving
Another important consideration with teen drivers is distracted driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 3,477 deaths occurred in 2015 due to distracted driving. It is important to express to them the dangers of driving distracted, whether playing music system or texting. There many tools to reduce the risks of distracted driving.
GROM Audio, among many other companies, has developed phone apps that allow one to play music and operate other function with phones hands free. GROM’s DashlinQ offers an phone interface for drivers that include voice activation commands, which allow access to music, GPS navigation, and other features through voice activation. The phone app can be used with GROM car kits to integrate stereo or infotainment system functions via DashlinQ commands, especially GROM’S Bluetooth kits that offer wireless connectivity.
VLine, designed for infotainment systems, is especially useful for combating distracted driving. This kit replaces the factory infotainment operating system and allows owners to update and uses the latest apps and tech. VLine is integrated with DashlinQ, allowing the use of voice command activation.
New GPS devices have already entered the market for parents of teens. Commonly, these car kits plug into a car’s diagnostic port, generally located under the dashboard to the left side. Most of them offer basic features that provide information about your vehicle while its being used, specifically designed to monitor your teen in your car or the car you bought for them.
- They generally provide speedometer detection and allow parents to receive alerts via text messaging or email if the vehicle exceed a set speed limit.
- They also generally allow you to establish a virtual fence around a specific geographic area, preventing your kids from driving outside of a generally agreed distance from home.
There are also features that are specific to certain products. For instance, Motosafety allows you to setup top speeds for highway and other roadways to keep you alert to when your teen decides there in hurry, while also providing establishing hours of operation to alert you when they suddenly decide to go for a ride when they’re not supposed to. Both Mastrack or MobiCoPilot offer some additional features to further monitor teen actions. They provide additional alerts when your car is started or turned off. They can also alert you when your car’s engine is having problems or the battery is low.
Generally, many parents keep track of where their teens are going when they drive and restrict access to car keys. This may be extremely important during social events that may include alcohol, which could include parties or concerts. According to MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), every 2 minutes someone is injured due to drunk driving and every 51 minutes someone dies. In many cases, enforcing strict rules during these high risk events—such as chauffeuring your kids or making them take a ride-share—may seem harsh, but the possible consequences could be dyer.
Overall, parenting your teen driver is essential for many lives. Enforcing seat belt habits and vehicle access are extremely crucial. New devices add an extra eye for you to keep an eye on your teen while behind the wheel. These tools are not necessarily designed to become cyber babysitters but are tools to add an level of security against prohibited behavior and risky habits.
Baby Safety in Cars
Ensuring the safety of your child while in the car can be challenging, especially since they grow so quickly. According to Parent magazine, there are essential element for seating your child in a car.
- Ensure that child seats have a 3 point harness system.
- Seats should have a distance of no less than 5 and half inches from crotch strap to seat back.
- Seats should have a distance of less than 10 inches from lower harness strap to seat bottom.
- Babies should be placed in the seat with their back flat against the back of the seat.
- Shoulder straps in rear-facing seats should be inserted in the lowest slots until the child’s shoulders are above them.
- Seats should be reclined halfway back at a 45 degree angle.
- Rear-facing seats should not be placed in the front passenger seat, especially if the vehicle has a passenger side air bag.
- Finally, never leave children unattended in cars.
Parents, especially those with infants, are busy people and distraction is a vice belonging to any of us. The value of tools that remind us to be cognizant of the most obvious but vital portions of our lives is essential.
When you consider the statics, you can understand the true value of these devices. Since 1990, more than 800 children died from heatstroke while left behind in a car. That’s what makes this technology so essential for parent. Moreover, the cost and time for setting up these devices is barely a fraction of the cost of going to the grocery store.
The most important principle to understand is to always be cognizant of your children. It is always important to glance at your child once you’ve parked your car. It is easy to be consumed by driving and one’s chores, so it is essential to build habits or checking on your baby after you park. In this respect, tools to assist you with this can be essential.
One tool is Driver’s Little Helper Sensor System is a standalone device. The sensor pack consists of a square pad with cord that attaches to a battery pack. The idea is that you place the pad under the cushion of any child’s car seat then clip the battery to side of the car seat. The system has a built in Bluetooth antenna, which is used by the parent via a phone app they download. Once set up, the parent can monitor a child’s temperature, detect a child’s movement to alert them that they made need to pull over and reseat their child, and remind parents if their child is still in the car.
In the final analysis, these tech tools for parents are no substitute for good parenting. Every good parents understand that their attention to their kids is paramount for everyone’s life and sanity. These tool are just that. Just like baby monitors or smart phone trackers, these tools are designed to reinforce what we as parents already are doing. But now some of the blind spots have been covered.