New Technologies Aim to Curb Teen Texting While Driving

If you’re the parent of a teenager, you’re well aware of how much today’s young people are attached to their cellphones. You’re probably also concerned about whether your children are using their phones while they are driving.

Illinois law makes it illegal for any driver under the age of 19 to use a cellphone behind the wheel. However, many teens choose to ignore this rule and insist on texting while driving. Too often, they end up causing accidents that result in serious injury or death.

Fortunately, a number of new technologies have recently become available to help parents prevent their teens from using cellphones while driving.

Devices Provide Parents a Measure of Control

Several companies have introduced devices that integrate with a vehicle’s on-board diagnostic system. The devices send a signal that connects with software installed on the phone to block access whenever the vehicle is in motion. Except for 911 calls, drivers cannot make or receive calls or text messages or access the internet unless the vehicle is at a complete stop.

Most devices can be programmed to grant access to certain applications – such as GPS or Google Maps – if the parent so chooses. Further, only cellphones that have been intentionally linked with the device will be locked. Passengers will still have full access to their phones.

A number of the devices also account for the fact that most teens are considerably more tech-savvy than their parents. If someone attempts to tamper with the device or disable the software, the account’s administrator will automatically be alerted.

Technology Can’t Prevent All Distractions

These devices can go a long way to curb teen distracted driving. However, they cannot completely eliminate the problem.

Young drivers face many distractions in addition to their cellphones. The best way to protect your children’s safety when they get behind the wheel of a car is to make sure they are not allowed to drive on their own until you are confident they are able to handle all of the risks of the road.