3 Driving Technologies to Keep Your Teen Safe

Each year new driving technologies are developed to help drivers get from point A to point B more safely. As parents of teen drivers, many of these new technologies could be of interest when looking to buy a new vehicle. In this post, I will go over three of the primary driving technologies that are available.

Blind Spot Warning Systems

Blind spots are a cause of many accidents. In past years “nearly 840,000 blind spot accidents occur each year in the United States” (Gordon & Partners, 2013). These accidents account for 18% of collisions on the road. (Gerber, 2020) As parents, we are always trying to find new ways to keep our teens safe and avoid getting into collisions. The vehicle mirrors can be adjusted to eliminate blind spots, but when you are not in the vehicle with your teen, there is no one to ensure that they are correctly shoulder checking.

driving technologiesVolvo was the first company to introduce a blind-spot warning system in 2005. (Lampton, n.d.) Over the past 15 years, the technology has evolved and can be found in most newer vehicles. So how does the technology work? As explained by Christopher Lampton, “a typical blind spot monitoring system uses some kind of electronic detection device(s) mounted on the sides of the car that sends out either electromagnetic waves or takes computer-processed images with a digital camera and analyzes them” (n.d.). The vehicle then warns the driver by either a light system or noise.

Now you might ask, “how effective are blind-spot warning systems?” Is it worth investing in a vehicle with this technology? According to a study done by Jessica B Cicchino (2018), blind-spot warning systems reduced lane-change collisions by 14%; approximately 50,000 crashes were avoided.

Adaptive Cruise Control

Adaptive cruise control, also referred to as ACC, was first patented by GM. The technology was only available in higher-end luxury vehicles, but it is now moving into more affordable cars. So how does it work? ACC has a radar that is mounted into the front grill and scans for objects up to a certain distance away. Using calculations, the ACC adjusts your vehicle’s speed accordingly. (Blackstone, 2012)

In a study hosted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, adaptive cruise control did prove to be extremely beneficial; however, it cannot be solely relied upon. The driver still needs to stay attentive and aware. (NHTSA, 2008)

New Driver Technology

In recent years, GM released a new technology called Teen Driver. This technology helps enforce safe driving among novice drivers. Enabling this feature allows parents to track how their teens are driving, and the teen is unable to turn off any of the safety features such as:

  • Stability control
  • Front/rear park assist
  • Side blind zone alert
  • Forward collision alert
  • Daytime running lamps
  • Forward collision avoidance braking
  • Traction control
  • Front pedestrian braking
  • Lane keep assist

(GM Authority, 2020)

There are other similar technologies on the market offered by different manufacturers, but not every vehicle is equipped for the technology.

I hope that this post was able to provide you with some new information to help you consider these technologies when purchasing a new vehicle that your teen may be driving.


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Blackstone, S. (2012, August 28). Adaptive Cruise Control Will Change Driving in America. Business Insider. Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/how-adaptive-cruise-control-will-change-driving-in-america-2012-8

Cicchino, J. B. (2018). Effects of Blind Spot Monitoring Systems on Police Reported Lane-Change Crashes. Traffic injury prevention, 19(6), 615-622. https://doi.org/10.1080/15389588.2018.1476973

Gerber Collision & Glass. (2020). Blind Spots Are to Blame for Many Accidents, So Know the Dangers. [Blog]. Retrieved from https://www.gerbercollision.com/articles/blind-spots-are-to-blame-for-many-accidents-so-know-the-dangers

Gordon & Partners. (2013, March 15). Blind Spot Accident Claims. [Blog]. Retrieved from https://www.fortheinjured.com/blog/blind-spot-accident/

GM Authority. (2020). General Motors Teen Driver Technology. [Blog]. Retrieved from https://gmauthority.com/blog/gm/general-motors-technology/gm-safety-technology/gm-active-safety-technology/general-motors-teen-driver-technology/

Lampton, C. (n.d.). How are cars making the blind spot less dangerous? [Blog]. Retrieved from https://auto.howstuffworks.com/car-driving-safety/safety-regulatory-devices/cars-making-blind-spot-less-dangerous1.htm

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2008). Rear-End Crash Avoidance System (RECAS) Algorithms and Alerting Strategies: Effects of adaptive cruise control and alert modality on driver performance. Retrieved from https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.dot.gov/files/810981.pdf

Nayda, O. (2018, October 9). Evening Road. [Photograph]. Retrieved from https://unsplash.com/photos/A-tStMx8COk/info

Coach Bill

Coach Bill

Bill is the Managing Partner of Coaching New Drivers and has a vast background in driver education. Bill is passionate about technology-based driver assessment and has gained extensive knowledge and experience through lecturing on driving topics across North America, Australia, and Asia. Bill is a parent to two teens who he has also successfully coached during the Learner’s permit stage.

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