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A GPS-Monitoring System for Your Teen Driver

By Ryan Hurlbert on February 20th, 2010

Auto Insurance

Technology exists that may help keep your teenage driver in check when you are not in the car. Systems range from simple data loggers that can tell you where teenage drivers have been, how quickly they accelerate or stop, and how fast they drive, all the way to GPS-based monitoring systems with in-car cameras and real-time alerts.

How the System Works

Several insurance companies now offer programs that allow you to monitor your teen driver. Some gather data about risky driving behavior, analyze it, and send it back to you with coaching hints about curbing dangerous driving behavior. Others allow parents to receive alerts when teens exceed pre-set speeds, venture out of their prescribed area, break speed limits by a pre-set level, or drive aggressively. Some systems can alert teens at the time of the infraction, giving instant feedback and a chance to correct the behavior; the system records about 10-seconds worth of video to capture footage before and after an event.

By analyzing this data, your insurer can help you and your teen recognize risky situations and learn to avoid them. Samples are available on some auto insurance company Web sites.

How Much Does Such a System Cost?

Costs vary according to auto insurance carrier, the program, and the system installed in the car. There is also a monthly monitoring fee. Many auto insurance companies provide the hardware for free or at a greatly reduced price. It may be cost-effective for you to switch to a carrier that provides the equipment for free and only charges a small monthly monitoring charge. Some companies offer discounts on insurance premiums for taking part in the program.

Many companies and service providers offer systems for purchase, without being a customer of a participating insurance company. This may prove to be an attractive option for companies that own vehicles that employees drive.

Be an Involved Parent

A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) indicated that the best results were achieved with high parental involvement. A monitoring system isn't worth much if parents don't respond to the alerts. In fact, systems that provided instant feedback to teen drivers curbed risky behavior better than those that simply notified the parents.

Compare Rates

Compare auto rates and find a company that may protect you and your teen, at an affordable price, through a GPS-based monitoring system.

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