For parents, the idea of their children driving is a terrifying concept. Many parents believe that their children aren’t quite ready for the experience, or that they’re not responsible enough to handle such a huge privilege. However, all too often the necessity for a mobile teenager overrides the swirling doubt that accompanies the idea of putting your child behind the wheel. With increasing social demands, two parents who work, and the kids’ busy activity schedules, parents often need to have their children become licensed drivers.
While putting your child in a moving vehicle for which they are responsible has never been a particularly safe idea, it probably wasn’t as scary as it is now. Not only do we have to prospect of people texting and driving and causing grievous accidents, but we also have to worry that our kids are going to be doing the same thing. When safety is our primary concern for our kids, driving doesn’t figure into the equation all that seamlessly. While parents used to have to rely on blind faith in their child rearing abilities, and a healthy dose of driver education, this isn’t the case anymore. Car manufacturers have caught on to the heightened demand for teenage drivers, and they’ve answered the questions surrounding parental paranoia.
Many manufacturers are adding specialized technology to their cars that allow parents to set certain guidelines for when their children are driving the family vehicle. The guidelines differ between brands, but they all offer a basic package of what a parent can control. The funniest thing about these guidelines? The kids are actually okay with the limitations. Most likely, the teenagers are so thrilled with the newfound sense of trust between themselves and their parents that they’re willing to deal with whatever controls they have to, in order to be mobile.
Some of the companies offer a specialized key that allow the parents to designate a maximum speed, and the car will emit an alert if that speed is about to be reached, or exceeded. This type of system also allows the parents to control the maximum volume of the radio, in an effort to reduce noise based distractions. They are also able to disable certain features of the car if certain requirements aren’t met, for instance the radio won’t turn on if the seat belts aren’t secured. Manufacturers maintain that this type of system isn’t about distrust, but about the love and sense of protection that a parent naturally feels for their children.
Some of the newer systems that are being released have a greater sense of control. Some of them allow the parents to set a perimeter inside which their children can travel, unbothered by limitations. If the teenager leaves that perimeter, the parents are alerted to the breach via text message. Using this system, the parents can then also use the system controls to locate the car. While a system such as this may seem a little less trusting than the key based systems, this allows for a better sense of control regarding your child’s whereabouts. For instance, if they’re allowed to drive to school and home every day, this type of system will provide an alert should they decide to ditch and head to the mall.
There are all sorts of new technological advances that allow parents to govern what goes on when they’re trusting their child with their vehicle. Some of them are integrated and can not only control the speed and the radio, but the number of passengers allowed in the car at one time. Other systems are available to purchase and plug into the car’s diagnostic system. This type of add-on not only measures the safety of the driving practices, but also the safety of the vehicle. It will run a quick diagnostic test before the car even exits your driveway.
The idea of letting your children loose into the great wide open, in control of heavy machinery is a scary experience, even if you have the utmost faith in the child’s sense of responsibility and their ability to drive. Car manufacturers are looking to renew a parent’s sense of security as the demand increases for multiple driver families. Children are involved in more activities like after school sports and parents are working longer hours. The possibility of being in two places at once isn’t an option, so many parents don’t have a choice about allowing their children to take the reins. With these vehicular enhancements, parents are given the peace of mind they need, and children are able to prove that they can be trusted within specific limitations.