Sad to say, teens are some of the least safe drivers on the road. You can’t really blame them for this. They’re the group that has the least driving experience of any. But they are often foolhardy and make poor judgements on the road that can lead to traffic citations or accidents.
People aged 15-19 are only about seven percent of the population. But they contribute about 11 percent of total automotive accident costs. No parent wants to get the phone call that their child has been involved in a serious auto accident. Therefore, we should take extra steps toward making teens safer on the road. There are a few ways telematics can help in this pursuit.
What Is Vehicle Telematics?
Before discussing the potential benefits of telematics, we need to understand its basic principles. These systems take in data as you drive and build a composite picture of your driving profile. In addition, they provide services to people that can be extremely useful in a pinch, as you’ll see below.
Telematics systems are built into almost all vehicles currently sold in the United States. For example, the first GPS and cell phone integrations actually came to market in 2000. Other advancements in telematics features have rolled out since then, like totally integrated mobile navigation in 2009.
Call Emergency Services
One of the most-used features of vehicle telematics is the ability to automatically contact emergency services. If your airbags deploy, the telematics system will send a notification to help.
Since teens are disproportionately likely to get into a car accident, this service is highly beneficial. Additionally, they might not know how to react in the event of an accident. Say they get in a collision, aren’t injured, but there’s damage to the vehicle. The other driver involved in the accident might convince the teen that they don’t need to exchange information. A trusting teen might not know any better than to believe the person. Automatic notification of emergency services through telematics makes this a non-issue.
Telematics can also show your teen’s innocence in such a situation. This will help preserve their insurance rates to some degree because insurers factor driving records into setting premiums. In fact, many insurers even offer a discount for integrating telematics with your auto insurance policy. You can compare car insurance rates to see how telematics affects premiums. This is a savvy way to keep insurance affordable, especially for teens—traditionally some of the most expensive drivers to insure.
It’s no secret that texting and driving is a big problem today. Despite this, the overwhelming majority of young people believe they can text and still drive well. Some of this can be resolved by the integrated services of telematics—such as apps and navigation. Instead of reaching for their smartphone mid-drive to navigate, teens can enter their destination into their vehicle’s system before departing. Rather than controlling music manually, teens can sync their phones with their vehicle’s audio system before they hit the road.
Sure, some people might see this as a repair and not a solution. However, just telling teens not to do something isn’t enough to persuade them. Lowering cell phone distractions through telematics is one way to make the roads a little safer for everyone.
Safety needs to be the paramount concern when discussing teen driving. Anything that can improve this should be a valued resource. High-solutions will never replace good advice from parents and educators, of course. But they can help. And telematics systems are one way teens can be kept safer on the roads. Talk to you teen about safe driving tips today!