Teen Safe Driver Program is Mom’s Way of Saying, 'I Love You'
I love the Teen Safe Driver program. It’s such a valuable teaching tool, I think it should be offered by every insurance carrier.
Last July, my 16 year old son, Tyler, got his driver’s license and we had made arrangements in advance to participate in the Teen Safe Driver program. Was Tyler happy to have the camera in his car? No.
Had I explained that no camera equaled no keys? Yes.
I knew Tyler drove safely when I was next to him, but how would he drive when I wasn’t there? Would he be giving rides to friends before he was allowed? Would he remember to wear his seatbelt? Would he use his cell phone or be texting while driving? Having the camera in the car let me know what was going on and gave me some peace of mind.
At first, I checked the Teen Safe Driver website almost daily. If there was something I thought was important for Tyler to see, I showed it to him and we talked about what needed to change. I reminded him of things like, “You still tend to corner to fast, slow it down.”
Or, (true story) “Hey, you can’t allow _____ to jump on the hood of your car when you’re parking!” I even got a video pointing out that Tyler had made a well-executed U-turn, but it happened to be at a double yellow line. Without Teen Safe Driver, how would I know these things?
The Teen Safe Driver program doesn’t just point out mistakes – it’s also cause for positive feedback. “Tyler, I got a video today pointing out that you have never once been caught without a seatbelt. Great job!”
Tyler and his brother are the most important people in my life, and I would do absolutely ANYTHING to keep them safe. Having the camera in his car comes with the privilege of driving, and I believe it can be the difference between life or death.
I’m not being dramatic. You see, my sister died driving her car before she turned 21. A system like this could have saved her life.
Is the camera intrusive? I don’t think so. It only comes on when he does something to trigger it, which gives immediate feedback. When the red light comes on, and he notices, I can tell by the look on his face he knows he was just “caught” making a mistake.
I think of it this way. It’s as though I’m whispering in his ear, “Hey. That was wrong. Next time, you’ll get it right. By the way, I love you.”
Editor's note: In observance of National Teen Driver Safety Week (Oct. 20-26), American Family encourages all motorists to commit themselves to safe driving practices. A great starting point is our online Safe Driving Pledge, where you agree to follow six commonsense practices that will help protect you, your passengers and those with whom you share the road.