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3 On Your Side: Monitoring Teen Driving

By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Teen drivers are three times more likely than adults to be in a fatal crash.

If you have a teen, you want to know exactly what they’re doing when they’re behind the wheel.

Often they’re more careful when you’re in the car with them, but that’s not always possible, or is it?

In fact new monitoring options can make it seem like your driving right along with them.

A dashboard camera captures video from 17-year-old Jeff Gabell’s car.

“It gave me the comfort to let him start driving alone,” said Jeff’s mom, Catherine Gabell.

The DriveCam activates every time Jeff does something considered unsafe.

The video is sent to professionals who offer tips to improve. It’s also sent to his mom.

“You know that if you screw up they’re going to catch you and it’s going to get reported,” said Jeff Gabell.

DriveCam is just one of several recent technologies now being used to keep kids safe on the road.

“They can look at the speed of the driving, can look at whether or not the teen is being reckless in their driving,” said Loretta Worters with the Insurance Information Institute.

Another technology called geofencing notifies parents if the car is driven above a certain speed, as well as outside a certain perimeter.

“It can actually let the parent log onto a website and see where the car is,” said Carroll Lachnit with

Some cars come with it built in by the manufacturer or it can be purchased from a third party and installed.

Another option isn’t nearly as high tech, but experts say it can be just as effective.

You’ve probably seen those “How’s my driving?” bumper stickers on trucks and buses. Now, parents are slapping them on their kids’ cars. Comments can be texted to mom and dad.

“It could be that just having that phone number on a bumper sticker on it, on the back of a car, might give a teenager pause before they do something they shouldn’t be doing,” said Lachnit.

The “How’s my kid driving?” bumper sticker program is the budget option at $10 a year.

Below you will find more information on DriveCam and Geo-Fence:


American Family Insurance Company offers the DriveCam for free to its clients for one year as part of its Teen Safe Driver program. In some states they offer a discount to clients who enroll and complete the program. They currently have 12,000 teens enrolled.


Car manufacturer direct options:

Hyundai Blue Link:

Mercedes mbrace:

Chrysler Group Electronic Vehicle Tracking System (Mopar accessory, dealer installed, silver package):

OnStar Family Link (for Chevy, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Pontiac, Hummer, Saturn, Oldsmobile):

Kia – UVO Trip Assist:

Infiniti Connection:

BMW recently invested in Life360 which has geo-fencing. But not installed in cars yet:

Some third party options:



Teens on Track:

Mobile Teen GPS:

How’s My Kid Driving Bumper Sticker:

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