Technology in Today’s Vehicles – How to Keep your Teen Safe

Consider a car that includes safety features which could help avoid or mitigate a crash.

May 17, 2019

Back-up cameras, blind spot monitoring, and cruise control, oh my!

With the evolution of automated safety technologies in today’s vehicles and the prospect of futuristic, fully autonomous vehicles always in the news, it may seem frightening to allow your teen to drive in a newer vehicle. You are not alone.

Today, at least one Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) feature is available on over 90% of new vehicles in the U.S. These features – also known as collision avoidance technologies – deliver great safety benefits to help save lives and prevent injuries. Still, parental attitudes are key to teens’ acceptance and use of these safety technologies. You must clearly communicate that your teen driver should use these safety features as an “assistance” to driving, and not become reliant on them.

Here are five tips to relieve your anxiety and keep your teen safe by taking advantage of these life-saving technologies.

  • Many car safety features vary by manufacturer, from their functions to even their names. Check out MyCarDoesWhat.org for exact information on features that are available on your vehicle and tips to ensure your teen driver is properly educated.
  • Not all Automatic Emergency Braking features can bring your car to a full stop. Check your owner’s manual with your teen for specific details and talk through what the car can and cannot do.
  • Back-up cameras provide an extra set of eyes. After you shift into reverse, this feature activates to show your teen driver what (or who) is behind the car. Depending on the vehicle, the display may be found on the center console, rearview mirror or sun visor. Show your teen how to use it on your next practice drive but teach them to still turn their head and check for other obstacles the camera might not catch.
  • Situational awareness is often a huge hindrance with teen drivers. Specifically, teens may not always remember to check their blind spots, but blind spot monitoring can give them an extra tool to help them see other cars in these dangerous areas.
  • Your teen driver may not always remember to reduce their speed when taking an exit. Curve speed warnings are a great feature to track the car’s speed and location, warning the driver to slow down ahead of curves.

Above all, make safety a priority. Instead of automatically passing down an older or cheaper vehicle to your teen driver, consider a car that includes safety features which could help avoid or mitigate a crash. With ADAS support, your teen driver can have a safer journey to their destination.

Jacob Smith

Jacob Smith is a transportation safety program manager at the National Safety Council.

Partner with NSC

With a century-long legacy, the National Safety Council is a global center for safety expertise. Let's work together to align resources. We look forward to learning about ways we can join efforts to expand safety everywhere!

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