GPS Tracking for Teenagers: Worth The Battle?
As a parent, you have most likely experienced this scenario, or certainly will one day. Your teenaged son or daughter has just got their provisional licence and you’re absolutely terrified. As it turns out, rightfully so. Because statistically, young drivers in the first two months of driving are at the most risk of being involved in an accident.
In 2017, young Australian drivers (17-25 years old) accounted for a staggering 21% of all driver fatalities (118 out of 575). In the State of NSW alone, provisional licence holders make up only 3% of all drivers, yet account for a whopping 20% of all road fatalities.
Installing a GPS tracker is one of the best ways to ‘be there’ with your teen when they’re exposed to the new world of driving without you. Tracking in real time, viewing travel history, setting anti-theft alerts, knowing you can help police respond quickly for rapid theft recovery … these are all genuine comforts for the concerned parent.
But how is my strong-willed independent teenage child going to cop this new intrusion into their new-found freedom? In the mind of the average teenager, the presence of a GPS tracker will no doubt ring alarm bells (as if our parent-teen trust issues weren't bad enough) ... and let’s face it, nobody likes the idea of being snooped on. So, it’s your job to first explain the reasoning behind it.
A good entry point is a two-way pact: you promise not to engage in unnecessary ‘Big Brother’ tracking and only use it when you have genuine reason to be worried, in return for your teen child promising to use the GPS tracker until they get their full licence. You may wish to talk of the weight of responsibility that vehicle drivers have to themselves and others, the benefits GPS tracking will bring and how it will keep them safer in the long run.
Most importantly: explain in straight terms why you are doing it – out of the interest of their safety. Do not attempt to hide the fact you are tracking with a GPS as this could trigger a massive breach of trust and potential legal implications.
Be safe, and avoid fines
With a GPS tracker, not only can you and your teen review all travel history, you can monitor speed levels and receive alerts if a speed limit is exceeded. Your goal is to help them become the safest driver possible, so analysing travel history in a shared family environment is a good way to work together to achieve this.
Needless to say, being cognizant of a GPS tracker will affect driver behaviour and most likely make them drive safer. And if it also helps them avoid speeding fines, bonus!
Prevent vehicle theft
Explain that a car equipped with a GPS tracker is less likely to be stolen. And if the unthinkable happens, recovering the vehicle is far easier if you can track its whereabouts.
Accident and dispute backup
In the unfortunate event of an accident or being handed spurious parking/speeding fines that you wish to contest, your GPS tracking device can be your friend! With it, you have visual proof of where you were and when, which can be extremely helpful when it’s someone else’s word against yours.
The moment your son or daughter gets their license is a milestone in their life. However, having the freedom to drive on their own is a legitimate cause for concern. GPS tracking for your teenager’s car is a good idea for concerned parents and guardians. Talk to your teenager about the benefits of GPS tracking and emphasise that it will keep them safer.