It seems the biggest worry parents have about their teenage kids is not sex, drugs, or grades (rock ‘n’ roll wasn’t included in the survey). It’s driving.
According to a Harris Poll commissioned by Chevrolet, 55 per cent of U.S. parents are worried about their teenagers driving without supervision. Because, as you can see in the video, confidence often outweighs ability.
By contrast, 53% are worried about academic performance, 52% about drug and alcohol use, 49% about sexual activity, and 41% about problems with friends.
There is, of course, a reason Chevrolet conducted this bit of research: for 2017 it’s introducing a new piece of technology called Teen Driver that should help to ease parents’ concerns.
Teen Driver is a monitoring system that produces a ‘report card’ at the end of each journey. Events like overspeed warnings, and interventions by the various on-board safety and driver assistance systems are logged, as well as distance driven and the maximum speed reached.
The system will also mute the stereo if seatbelts aren’t worn, and audible and visual warnings are given if preset speed limits are breached.
The idea is for parents to then use the report cards to coach their kids on best driving practices; the survey found that 95% of parents think they’re obliged to teach their kids how to drive safely.
Teen driver is available on the 2017 Bolt, Camaro, Colorado, Cruze, Malibu, Silverado, Silverado HD, Suburban, Tahoe, and Volt. It’s activated by the teen’s key fob, which raises the problem of making sure that’s the only one they have access to…
If this all sounds a bit Big Brother-ish, bear in mind that, across much of the Western world, car crashes are among the leading causes of death for 16 to 24-year olds. Any measure that helps improve their driving can only be a good thing, surely?