Teenage Driving Meets Technological Restriction

Part of growing up is testing limits along the way. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending upon your perspective, testing limits in the car as a teenager may become a thing of the past.

With services like gpsteentracking.com and other Event Data Recording devices (a review of a couple), teenagers aren’t going to be able to get away with much of anything much longer. The prices seem reasonably cheap enough that you’d think more people would be using them. It’s likely that the majority of the parents just don’t know the technology exists.

I think that if parents are going to use this technology, they should absolutely have full disclosure with their kids. After all, kids are going to speed and do crazy things, so installing a tracking system without telling them is just setting both the kid and parents up for failure.

I guess I’m okay with the idea that kids would have to think twice before doing something stupid, and it’d go a long way toward ensuring they mostly bide by the traffic laws. I think it’d be a good way to gain the needed experience before venturing down the real-world (no monitoring) testing of limits. But I also feel like it’s the parents responsibility to train their young drivers appropriately. Parents should take their kids out to big open dirt or ice lots and let them go wild trying out various maneuvers to get a feel for how the vehicle handles in different situations. Waiting to find that sort of thing out in a crisis is hardly the most efficient route.

I guess from a parent’s perspective, teenage driving has a lot more penalties these days than they used to. And parents are held much more accountable than the old days, too. So I could see where parents would be inclined to exercise caution.

The worst thing about this technology to me is the lack of privacy that comes with it. It’s one thing to ensure your child is being as safe as possible, but spying on their whereabouts 24/7 could be a little overbearing. Kids need room to grow and experience life on their own – making their own decisions and mistakes. Parents need to believe they’ve done their job well and extend the appropriate amount of trust. Otherwise, what’s the youth of today going to turn out like?

As the price of this technology continues to fall, it’ll only become more prevalent. I guess time will tell if the streets become a safer place as a result.

All I can say is (since I survived it) I’m glad this stuff wasn’t around when I was 16! Although I would have saved a lot of money on tires and clutches ;-).


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