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Communication Barriers in Teen Driving

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Sat, Sep 3, 2016

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

Teen Driver Technology Report Card

Teen Driver technology by Chevrolet

By Mirinda Osmer Chevrolet has recently announced Teen Driver. Its technology helps parents track and observe the habits of new drivers. Details such as a maximum speed, “overspeed” breach warnings, lane change warnings, distance traveled, front automatic braking, volume limits and more can be brought to the driver’s attention and reviewed in the in-vehicle report card. Chevy reports that more parents are concerned with their teen driving without adult supervision than other common parenting factors. With audio and visual warnings gaining popularity, from heads-up displays to lane-drift notifications, the jump to keeping tabs on new drivers and alerting them to unsafe driving methods was sure to follow. Well, it’s here, and it’s even more bothersome than expected. In the Chevy study about parenting worries, 95 percent of the parents agreed with the statement “I think teaching my teen to drive safely is my obligation as a parent.” If these parents are so obligated, then why don’t they just teach their teens? Have we trained individuals to communicate so poorly that a computer needs to tell them what is happening? In California, a 15-½ year old can receive a driver’s permit and a full license 6 months later. This gives parents six whole months to teach their teen good driving habits. Permitted drivers cannot operate a vehicle without a licensed adult over 25. If a parent thinks that their child’s driving is unsafe, they should not give them the keys. They should not drive them to the DMV to get their license. They should not allow them to drive alone and endanger the lives of others. They should not rely on technology to do their parenting. A with the necessary tools to make good choices.” This technology can help teens correct basic driving errors, like using inappropriate speeds and helping with awkward blind spot checks. As someone who attempts to get my parents to understand my deep connection to my phone and the struggle that is putting it down, this tech brings their “old school” driving and my “millennial” screen-reliance together. Teens can get an extra layer of driving feedback. If I had this technology, I would probably be more lax when driving. I would probably talk to myself when driving even more. #oops #didntseeyouthere #mychevydidtho #thankschevy A quick questioning of my driving friends tells me that there are a variety of reactions to this tech. One friend noted its utility if and only if parents enforce the report card findings. Another mentioned that we get notifications on everything else, might as well add driving to the list! One friend and I discussed Teen Driving influencing more “reserved” drivers, and what that actually means. I take reserved driving to mean tentative, indecisive driving. He defined it as not constantly changing lanes and speeding down the bike lane. I’m sure our definitions of “confident driver” may vary too… I’ve been around cars my entire life. Driving was, and still is, an important part of growing up, becoming independent and experiencing the world. At 20, I think this new technology is unnecessary, even for new drivers. My parents trust their parenting skills, their driving skills and their daughters. A simple trip in the car should give parents enough to know what their teen can work on. Constantly keeping track of teens is informing them that they are untrustworthy. And though this technology may help new drivers learn to better their driving skills, it can also continue to distance them from their parents and reality. No technology should replace simple observation and communication skills. Life is about learning and experiencing new things. Is a teen driver going to learn to rely on the car’s technology to inform them of impending dangers? How can a teen react in the moment if they are waiting for technology to tell them how to respond? For now, I prefer the human mind. I remain optimistic in parents, their communication skills and their trust. People have been learning and teaching others to drive since cars happened a hundred years ago. There is no such thing as a perfect driver. - Mirinda O. Got something to say? Add your Facebook comment regarding this article here. For more information about Chevrolet’s Teen Driver technology, click here or see the video below.

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