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Technology could reduce teen driving accidents


Newly-minted teenage drivers present risks in the early weeks and months after they earn their licenses. For every mile they drive, teens are four times as likely to find themselves in an accident as drivers 20 and older. The possibility of a fatal crash is more likely than every other age demographic, except drivers 80 and older.

Technology suites customized for teen drivers

Motor vehicle manufacturers have taken notice of the potential for serious and fatal accidents. In response, they are in the early stages of tailoring crash avoidance technology to the younger set. Research uncovered challenges in focusing on roads and controlling the vehicle, often resulting in a loss of control and running off the road. Rear-end and right-angle collisions are the most common when it comes to accidents.

Teen-specific systems could prevent 75 percent of fatal accidents that involve teenage drivers, according to a recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Crash avoidance and lane departure technology could help address the common issues teenagers face while operating a vehicle.

Some vehicles already feature parent-controlled speed limitations and gearshift interlocks that activate when those in the front seat failed to buckle their seat belts. Smartphone apps provide real-time data to parents when their young drivers are speeding or violating curfews. Teen driver report cards are also offered periodically.

Another IIHS study saw that more than half of the parents were unaware of their potential control to keep their teens safe. One-third knew about the features but did not use them, with some claiming that they didn’t see any benefits of the safety technology.

While some parents may consider the technology intrusive, technical safety features have saved lives and prevented serious injuries. Should an accident occur, parents and their children could find themselves on the wrong side of personal injury lawsuits.