KEEP CALM AND… HAND OVER THE KEYS:

HOW TECH­NOL­OGY IS HELP­ING BRING PEACE OF MIND TO PAR­ENTS

Road Today - - Safety Features -

The thought of hav­ing your teenager be­hind the wheel is un­der­stand­ably cause for more than a lit­tle anx­i­ety. For­tu­nately, the lat­est tech­nolo­gies and apps can help re­duce worry among the par­ents of new driv­ers.

“As a par­ent my­self, I sym­pa­thize with the feel­ing of ap­pre­hen­sion as your kids be­gin driv­ing,” ex­plains Marc Saltz­man, tech ex­pert and colum­nist. “But while con­cerns over dis­trac­tions from tech de­vices are le­git­i­mate, there are many ways tech­nol­ogy is ac­tu­ally mak­ing driv­ing safer.”

While hand­ing the keys over the kids may never be­come com­pletely stress-free, tech­nol­ogy is help­ing give teens the free­dom they crave while al­low­ing par­ents the peace of mind they de­serve. Here are three tips for us­ing tech wisely in the ve­hi­cle. 1. Go hands free: Ap­ple Carplay and An­droid Auto help young driv­ers stay hands-free by mim­ick­ing their cell­phone’s screen on the car’s built-in dis­play. With their de­vice plugged in and out of the way, teens are able to get di­rec­tions, make calls, send and re­ceive mes­sages, and lis­ten to mu­sic — all while stay­ing fo­cused on the road. 2. Get a re­port card: Car man­u­fac­tur­ers are re­spond­ing to parental anx­i­ety di­rectly. For ex­am­ple, the new Chevro­let Mal­ibu comes with a built-in tech­nol­ogy called Teen Driver. It sup­ports safe driv­ing habits by mut­ing ra­dio or paired de­vice au­dio when front seat oc­cu­pants aren’t wear­ing safety belts and gives sound and vis­ual warn­ings when the ve­hi­cle ex­ceeds pre­set speeds. Teen Driver also pro­vides par­ents with an in-ve­hi­cle re­port card of the teen driver’s per­for­mance that par­ents can use as a teach­ing tool. 3. Apps are your best friend: Texi is an app that en­ter­tains friends who text your kid while they’re on the road, auto-re­spond­ing with a funny meme that says they’ll re­spond soon. The app pro­vides a fun way to help new driv­ers fo­cus while keep­ing in touch with their besties.

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