DETROIT, Michigan – August 2016 will see 360 000 teens become eligible for a restricted driver’s licence in the US and many of their parents will experience stress of whicn they didn’t think themselves capable.
The number across South Africa will be considerably lower but, expect, the stress levels will be similarly high..
According to a Harris Poll survey commissioned by Chevrolet in te US, more parents with teens worry about their child driving (55%) more than any other area of parental stress, including drugs and alcohol (52%), sexual activity (49%) and academic performance (53%).
Chevrolet knows all this so, in addition to a suite of available active and passive safety features, offers Teen Driver Technology on 10 of its 2017 cars, bakkies and SUVs – including what is believed to be an industry-first: an in-vehicle report card that shows how the teen drove and shows how parents can discuss “best practices”.
Steve Majoros, director of marketing for Chevrolet cars and crossovers in the US, told The Corner in a media release: “I, like many of our employees, am a parent of teenagers. We understand the anxiety of having a teen driver and, while we can’t control a teen’s behaviour when driving unsupervised we can use the technology to remind them to buckle-up and avoid speeding.
“Our other available active safety features can make them award of less-than-perfect driving decisions.”
Teen Driver supports safe-driving practices by muting the car’s audio unless the front occupants wear their seat belt. It also gives audible and visual warnings should the vehicle exceed the posted speed limit.
Parents can also limit the maximum audio volume and enable safety features that the teen driver can’t change, among them:
Lane Departure Warning
Lane Keep Assist
Front and Rear Park Assist
Side Blind Zone Alert
Rear Cross Traffic Alert
Forward Collision Alert
Forward Automatic Braking
Rear Automatic Braking
Front Pedestrian Braking
Daytime Running lights and auto lights control
MaryAnn Beebe, a Chevrolet safety engineer, weighed in: “As a mother of two it’s extremely important to find solutions that can help young drivers on the road.
“Chevrolet developed this system as a tool that can give teens some additional coaching as they’re gaining experience. Driving on your own is a big milestone so Teen Driver helps to remind them to practice safe driving.
“Parents have some information about what the youngsters are doing on the road.”
The in-vehicle report card, depending on vehicle model, can keep track of:
Maximum speed reached
Overspeed warnings issued
Stability control events
Anti-lock braking events
Traction control activations
Wide-open throttle events
Forward Collision Alerts
Forward Collision Braking events
Teen Driver is a non-subscription service that remains with the vehicle permanently and is available on the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, Camaro, Colorado, Cruze, Malibu, Silverado, Silverado HD, Suburban, Tahoe and Volt.
A parent, to use the technology, must register their teen’s key fob in the vehicle’s system settings.
Each of the 10 vehicles also has available Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility to discourage teens from using a handheld phones while driving.