Parents tend to worry about their teens when they start driving on their own, but thankfully there are ways to help mom and dad keep an eye on their kids and ensure they’re driving safely and responsibly.
Additionally, there are some other aftermarket options that can also help parents cut down on insurance costs.
Here’s a rundown of what’s out there for parents.
Ford’s solution is to give your teen their own key, one that locks out certain features and urges them to stay safe on the roads. Parents can enable a feature that reminds kids to buckle-up, locking out the radio if the seat-belts aren’t on. Speaking of the radio, parents can also limit the volume of the car down to 44 percent of the maximum volume, making sure head-banging is kept to a minimum.
See Also: Five-Point Inspection: Ford MyKey
When it comes to speed, parents can enable chimes that occur at 45, 55 and 65 mph to nag teens to slow down. There’s also a way to limit the vehicle’s top speed to 80 mph and keep traction control enabled, to prevent any rowdy burnouts.
Finally, in order to curb distracted driving, parents can enable a “Do Not Disturb” mode in the car that blocks incoming phone calls and text messages. The teen can still call using Sync’s voice recognition system.
The best part of Ford MyKey is that it’s free but sadly it doesn’t alert or notify the parents.
Infiniti offers a robust tracking solution for parents as part of its Infiniti Connection service. The Plus service plan includes two features that will help relieve worried moms and dads about where their kids are going and whether they’re obeying the speed-limit.
Using a web-app, you can set a perimeter that the vehicle is allowed to drive within. If the vehicle leaves that zone, you will be notified. You can also set up the drive zone that your vehicle needs to stay out of, ensuring your child stays off toll-roads, out of bad neighborhoods or away from that date you didn’t approve of.
Additionally, you can get an alert if your child goes above a designated speed-limit.
Alerts can go to your cell-phone, with a call or text message or to your email inbox.
Infiniti Connection Plus costs $308 a year which is quite a bit, but the service isn’t just limited to parental control. Infiniti owners with the Connection Plus service also get features like automatic collision notification, enhanced roadside assistance, stolen vehicle report, scheduled maintenance notification and remote door lock/unlock.
OnStar Family Link:
Another paid service, OnStar Family Link is much cheaper than Infiniti Connection. Coming in at just $3.99 a month, owners of GM vehicles can check where their vehicles (and the teens driving them) are using a web-site.
Owners can also set up daily notifications to see where the vehicle is. This will help parents know that their child is at school at 8:00 am and back at the house at 10 pm at night. Or if they’re going to the library to study like they said they were.
Hyundai Blue Link:
Hyundai Blue Link is known as a competitor to GM’s OnStar service, but is ahead of the game when it comes to “Geo-Fencing” and speed notifications. Part of the Blue Link Essentials Package is the ability to set up locations to drive within. If the car goes outside of that location (the Geographical fence), you get a text message or email that includes the location of the car.
Parents can also set speed limits and will receive a notification of when the car goes over that set speed. Mom and dad can even set curfew hours, so that they know when their teen breaks curfew.
The Blue Link Essentials package costs $179 a month, but includes the other features associated with Blue Link, like remote start, remote HVAC and the ability to send navigation instructions to your car from you computer.
Usage Based Insurance:
Insurance providers like Progressive are offering devices that plug into a car’s OBD-II port in order to gather information about the vehicle and the drivers habits. Companies will charge insurance rates based on when and how the car is being driven. Cars being driven in low-risk fashion will cost less per month to insurance than those that aren’t. The most popular version is Progressive Snapshot, but there are other forms of usage-based insurance out there.
See Also: What is Usage Based Insurance?
While the insurance savings alone should help parents consider usage based insurance, it’s also good to know that these services include stats about the car for the user to see. This means that mom or dad can log into the insurance company’s website and see little Johnny’s driving habits. This is also perfect for teaching a new driver how important it is to be responsible on the road, as their driving style will affect their insurance costs.
There’s no doubt that parents worry about their kids when they hit the road on their own. Services like MyKey help remind teens to stay safe and responsible in their car, while other services like Infiniti Connection and Hyundai Blue Link help parents keep an eye on their loved ones.