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Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Teen Driver Safety Improves with GPS Technology
There are more than 3,500 teen driving deaths per year in the United States. Finding ways to making the road a safer place for teens is the focus of parents, government officials, health and safety advocates, and even insurance companies.
Because they take advantage of GPS technology, graduated licenses and expanded driver’s training are two programs that are quickly gaining popularity. One such example of a program that uses GPS to track teen driving habits is Teensurance.
"The Teensurance program provides parents with a suite of tools to actively monitor and manage their teenager's driving," Tim Haugaard, Teensurance Director of Product Management, said. "With its real-time tracking, speed alerts and curfew notifications sent via text message or e-mail, parents can identify and correct their teenager's driving behavior before an accident occurs."
Insurance companies such as Progressive, AIG, Allstate, are offering GPS tracking services. Many insurance companies offer insurance rate discounts for parents who take advantage of GPS tracking programs, according to Hussein Enan, CEO of online insurance comparison site InsWeb.com.
"Underwriting teen drivers has always been a complicated situation for insurance companies," said Enan. "They want to provide excellent service to parents, but teen drivers present a high degree of risk. GPS tracking services provide an easy and effective way to reduce the likelihood of risky driving behavior—it's win-win."
GPS tracking units that do not include real-time monitoring, but instead record driving data on a removable flash or hard drive, are also available. Although these devices do not provide real-time information about a teen’s whereabouts, the only investment required is the cost to buy and install the tracking unit. In general, they do not require a monthly fee. Insurance companies sometimes offer GPS tracking programs that are tied to "pay-as-you-drive" insurance policies. A relatively new type of policy, "pay-as-you-drive" ties insurance premiums directly to an individual's driving habits, mileage, and other factors.
Despite GPS technology having a proven track record, the impact it can have on teen driving safety is still being explored. One thing is certain however—with millions across the nation focused on helping teenagers drive more safely, GPS tracking services will play a significant role in teen driver safety in the future.
Online courses are now available to educate drivers on the rules of the road and the latest defensive driving techniques. Try it today!