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What are your teens doing behind wheel?

For teenagers, getting their driver’s license is one of life’s most exciting moments.

For teenagers, getting their driver’s license is one of life’s most exciting moments.

For a parent, it’s one of the most distressing.

New technologies promise to alleviate parents’ worries by keeping tabs on their teen drivers, but the use of these tools raises an ethical question: Do they cross the line between good parenting and invasion of privacy? www.MotherProof.com surveyed moms of U.S. teens to gauge how much snooping they’re willing to do.

MotherProof.com’s survey found that two-thirds of moms don’t use technology to snoop on their teen drivers: 64 per cent of moms said they would not put a camera or GPS tracking device in their child's vehicle.

However, 53 per cent of moms admitted to investigating the contents of their teen’s car, and 36 per cent said they regularly check the miles on their teen’s car to see how much they’re driving.

While most moms are very trusting, the survey indicates that younger moms are more likely to second-guess their teen’s driving habits. Some interesting results among this group include:

• 59 per cent of moms ages 25-34 either would consider putting a camera or GPS system in their teen’s car or have already done so, versus 43 per cent of moms ages 35-44 and 27 per cent of moms ages 45-54.

• 57 per cent of moms 25-34 have followed their child in traffic to see where they’re going and investigate their driving habits, versus 29 per cent of moms 35-44 and 18 per cent of moms 45-54.

• 70 per cent of moms 25-34 have investigated the contents of their teen’s car, versus 52 per cent of moms 35-44 and 50 per cent of moms 45-54.

• 65 per cent of moms 25-34 regularly check the miles on their teen’s car to see how much they're driving, versus 39 per cent of moms 35-44 and 27 per cent of moms 45-54.

Monitoring devices

Research suggests that monitoring devices reduce risky teen driving.

A 2009 study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, In-Vehicle Monitoring and the Driving Behavior of Teenagers, followed 85 recently licensed teenagers with monitoring devices in their vehicles.

IIHS found that monitoring devices reduced risky driving among teens, especially when it came to seat belt use.

With the rate of fatal crashes four times as high for drivers ages 16-19 as it is for older drivers, any reduced risk these monitoring devices bring could make them very appealing to parents.

 
 
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