Our Joplin, Missouri car accident attorneys want parents of teen drivers to know about a new product designed to reduce the risk of teen crashes and promote responsible driving practices. iTeen365 is an electronic GPS system that keeps track of a vehicle's location and speed, providing regular updates every 3 minutes. According to Joe McBreen, the CEO of iTrack365, "When parents are in the car with their teenager, they tend to drive more cautiously. So, if they are aware that a device is in their car and their parents are watching them, they do tend to drive a little bit more cautiously."
iTeen365 is powered by the ignition and battery source of the vehicle it's attached to: it's tamper-proof and will not lose power once it's been turned on. The device is professionally installed behind the dashboard, and produces various reports that can be accessed in different formats, like spreadsheets and pdf documents. These reports can be customized according to the user's preferences: parents can track a teen driver's speed, and view a map of the vehicle's path. Users can also create a "geo fence report," which essentially creates an electronic boundary around an area. If the vehicle crosses the geo fence, users will receive an email notification, alerting them when the vehicle enters and/or exits the fenced-in area.
For more information about iTeen365 service plans and fees, click here.
While teenagers usually don't react well to being monitored, McBreen says the device can actually provide a sense of freedom to teens, while providing parents with a sense of security. He says iTeen365 "[creates] peace of mind for the parents of the teen drivers, and also [creates] independence for those teenagers, which most teenagers want."
One teenager - Cory Bledsoe, president of Kickapoo High School's SADD (Students Against Drunk Driving) chapter - said she would probably feel "intruded on" if her parents chose to equip her vehicle with the device. However, she also admitted that "I wouldn't speed as much; I probably wouldn't adjust the radio as much, or play with my iPod as much." Her SADD faculty sponsor, Wendell Hawxby, points out that such a system would help keep parents informed about all aspects of their teens' driving behavior, both negative and positive. Hawxby says that teen drivers who make responsible choices ought to be encouraged and praised.
The company encourages use of the device in tandem with a teen driving contract, which itemizes the rules and expectations between parents and their teen children. Here are a few suggested areas that such a contract might cover:
• Which vehicles are your teen allowed to drive, and under what circumstances?
• What aspects of maintenance are your teen's responsibilities? (i.e. gas; oil changes; tire pressure; etc.)
• What are your standards for cleanliness? (i.e. washing the car; vacuuming the interior; cleaning out personal items; etc.)
• Who is responsible for paying for insurance, and under what terms?
• What expectations do you have of your teen driver? (i.e. obeying speed limits & traffic signals; wearing seat belts; avoiding cell phone use & texting; avoiding drinking & drug use; etc.) What are the consequences if those expectations are not met?
• What is your teen driver's curfew?
• What passengers are allowed to ride with your teen driver?
In 2006, teens made up only 9% of Missouri drivers, but they were involved in nearly 23% of Missouri's fatal car accidents, according to Operation Stop. Parents can be the most important influence on this group of high-risk drivers: by keeping an eye on your teen driver, and by making your expectations clear, you can make a difference that could save lives. And one of those lives could be your child's.
The car accident attorneys at Aaron Sachs and Associates serve accident injury victims in Joplin, Missouri, and the surrounding areas, including Carthage, Webb City, Carl Junction, Pierce City and Neosho. Call our office toll-free at 1-888-777-AUTO to schedule a free initial consultation.
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