Technology to help your teenager be a better driver

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If you have a teenager in your house who might be earning his driver’s license soon, the thought of how to save money on car insurance may have crossed your mind.

Helping your son practice good driving skills is one of the easiest ways to keep auto insurance rates lower. And there are plenty of new technology gadgets available to help you monitor those driving skills.

Here are some ideas you can review to help your child keep his driving as safe as possible:

* Cell phone usage by drivers is considered by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration to be one of the biggest causes of distracted driving. You can create a family rule restricting cell phone use by drivers. There are also applications you can place on your teen’s cell phone that prevent the phone from calling, texting, or receiving calls or texts (they go straight to voice mail) while the phone is in motion.

* Watch what your daughter is doing while she’s driving. Webcams are available for your car so you can monitor from your computer what is happening inside the car such as your child being distracted by friends, music, her cell phone or is just not paying attention to the road. Some in car cameras also include audio, so you can hear what is happening inside the vehicle.

* Install your own “black box” or data recording device – similar to what airplanes have — to help determine causes of crashes. For cars, these recording devices allow you to determine if your son has a heavy foot, is prone to sudden changes in speed or is taking the car on long trips that you might not have been aware of.

Even if you don’t feel comfortable, or want to monitor your teen’s driving habits, you can make sure your car has safety features to potentially help keep him safer. Car companies are making safety features like airbags, antilock brakes and electronic stability control in the wheels standard on most vehicles. Having some of these safety devices installed in your cars may also help you save money on car insurance.

Teenage drivers are usually very excited to be behind the wheel and it can open up many new opportunities for your family to organize and schedule activities. Encourage your teen to be a safe driver, and with new technology, you can help enforce good driving behavior.