Five Ways to Keep New Drivers SafeApril 28, 2016
New drivers face a number of challenges in learning to drive a car, not the least of which is safety. As it happens when learning anything new, mistakes will be made. Unfortunately, when you’re driving a car mistakes can be costly. Compare.com has come up with the top three ways you can reduce the number and severity of driving mishaps for new drivers. We’ll look at how new apps and devices can help curb some of the problems that new drivers face and how those apps and devices can help keep them safe.
New Drivers Are Inexperienced
This may sound like an obvious statement, and it is; but how do you limit the effect that inexperience has on a driver? One method is to get them more experience by setting a goal for supervised driving in the same way airplane pilots are required to log a certain number of flight hours before getting their license. So how do you do that and how many hours should a new driver log?
For logging supervised driving hours, RoadReady is a wonderful app. The app was developed as part of the Parent’s Supervised Driving Program, which is run by car maker Ford. The app creates a driving log that tracks not only the hours of supervised driving a new driver has under their belt, but the conditions driven in as well (Like driving at night, for example). You can even download the logs for safe keeping. The app is currently only available for Apple devices such as the iPhone. This app is currently free to download.
Similar to RoadReady, Time to Drive has 15 years of UNC research behind it. It allows parents and teens to set goals in the apps that are met by logging hours of drive time. The app isn’t free, but at $3.99 it won’t break the bank either. Time to Drive is currently available in the iTunes store for Apple Devices and an Android version is in the works. Learn more about the Time to Drive app on their official website.
What Do You Do Once They’re Driving Alone?
You can’t watch a new driver all the time. Even if they’ve logged the hours, they’re still likely to do things that are incorrect or unsafe, especially teen drivers. So how do you curb that behavior when you aren’t in the car with them?
Canary solves this problem via an app on both the parent and child’s smartphones. Canary offers a variety of drive monitoring including speeding notifications sent to the parent’s phone.
The Canary app also allows the parent to set “geofences”—an area which the teen driver is allowed to drive. Areas outside of the geofence can be labeled as off-limits or unsafe. In the event the teen driver goes into one of these areas, a notification will be sent to the parent phone. To further the value of the Canary app, the driver’s phone will send a notification if the phone is being used while the car is moving more than 12 mph and it can also disable calling and texting on the phone above the same speed limit. Canary isn’t free, unfortunately, but at $14.99 it’s a steal. There’s also a current deal in place that will allow you to purchase this app for $9.99.
CellControl isn’t a standalone app. It’s a device and app combo developed by Louisiana-based CellControl and major U.S. insurance company Esurance. The device is their answer to the growing distracted driving pandemic. CellControl is designed to disable cell phone use—calls, texts, and web browsing—while the car is in motion. It’s not a bad idea and it does one thing that many of these apps and devices fail to account for: it works with non-smartphones. Learn more about CellControl and see if it suits your needs.
More Thorough Training for New Drivers
One problem with teaching your teen how to drive is that you can’t present them with every challenge they’ll face on the road. The number of hours logged behind the wheel don’t matter much in terms of training a new driver to handle sudden and unexpected incidents while driving. Advanced driver training courses are available, but often at additional cost. Fortunately, we found a solution.
Now there’s a program that’s being run via Tire Rack that offers new drivers a course in advanced driving skills called Street Survival. The course costs $75, lasts one full day, and trains new drivers on real-world driving situations. The classes are taught by members of local auto clubs such as the BMW Car Club of America or the Sports Car Club of America. Street Survival is a non-profit organization and is working to host over 105 courses this year. The program trained 1,200 drivers in 2012 and hopes to train even more this year.
Car Owner’s Guide
What to do in a hit and run? What steps can you take to prevent auto theft? What can I do to lower my auto insurance payments? Car owners get faced with a lot of questions. Read our Car Owners Guide to make sure you’re getting the most out of your car.