Controlling The Teen Driving Habits Through Cell Phones

Raising teenage children is a very tough job for parents, ensuring that they are driving responsibly is even tougher. How to track a teenager, who experiences road rage, regularly goes over speed limits and uses his/her cell phone while driving is a evocative question parents face today.

Despite the risks, the majority of teen drivers ignore cell phone driving restrictions. According to the latest research:

  • Of all cell phone related tasks – including talking, dialing, or reaching for the phone – texting while driving is the most dangerous.
  • Talking on cell phones causes more than 25% of the road accidents.
  • A driver reaching for a cell phone or any other electronic device is 1.4 times more likely to experience a car crash.
  • A car driver dialing a cell phone is 2.8 times more likely to get into a crash than a non-distracted driver.
  • A car driver talking on their phone is 1.3 times more likely to get into an accident.
  • Talking on a cell phone while driving can make a young driver’s reaction time as slow as that of a 70-year-old.

AT&T, the US telecom giant has taken up an initiative to solve this problem. AT&T is planning to introduce a system that has the ability to use a car’s on-board computers and the driver’s phone to provide real time information about the driver’s driving habits as well as his/her whereabouts. The system is currently in its prototype stage, designed to work on the cloud network. At present the system is being designed to monitor a child’s driving behavior in real time only, but later on it will also be used to log activities of drivers of any age.

This will enable parents to see if their child is using the phone or texting while driving. There will also be a provision to even disable the phone. The system that is plugged into a port of the engine will send user information such as speed of the automobile, acceleration and de-acceleration rate, steering movements and braking abruptness. Combined with the GPS coordinates it will give the monitoring person a holistic view of how a driver is driving. In addition to that, an application in the phone will also send out information regarding the phone usage of the driver.

These two streams of information will then analyzed in an AT&T cloud based system, an additional stream of information such as speed limits or specific road restrictions will be added into the information. Resultantly alerts based on this information will be sent to a parent’s phone pointing out where the child is, whether he/she is exceeding or has exceeded speed limits. The information will also include other safety related alerts such as if the child is wearing a seat belt or has braked or steered abruptly and on top of that it will even expose if the abrupt steering or braking was done at a time when the phone was being used.

The system provides a comprehensive data about the drivers’ driving habits and can be very helpful for parents who worry about the way there children drive on the roads. Based on the provided information parents can take decision related to their child’s driving permissions. AT&T claims that slowly but surely insurance companies will also start coming on-board and will provide benefits to drivers who have these systems installed in their cars. Surely this system has a lot of potential in the coming years. AT&T plans to sell or license the system therefore it would be available worldwide including Pakistan once it is commercialized. Bad driving habits lead to a lot of financial and life loss all around the world. System like this can help make good and timely decisions and ultimately save money and lives.

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