Safety devices help parents keep new driver's eyes on the road

Safety devices help parents keep new driver's eyes on the road.

Joe Gesmundo is a brand new driver, who borrows his mom’s brand new SUV. As he checks his mirrors and looks both ways, he knows there’s someone else looking over his shoulder. His mom, Betsy, just installed a MOTOsafety device in his car.

The device monitors everything Gesmundo does, and sends a report card to her phone.

“I feel it’s a little excessive!” Gesmund said when asked what he thought about the device.

Steve Van Dinter, who works for Verizon, said his company has a similar device, called the Hum, and there are valid reasons for its use.

“Everything that a parent wants to know and a child doesn’t want them to know, we can figure out with this device,” VanDinter said.

As with the MOTOsafety device, the Hum plugs into a car’s onboard diagnostic port and relays information in real time using an app. Van Dinter said the Hum measures, hard breaking, accelerating, cornering and GPS.

“Where you’re actually traveling to, when did you get there, when did you leave and what speed did you go,” Van Dinter said.

Even some automakers, including Ford, are building safety devices into new cars, such as the MyKey pre-programmed speed limiter designed by Ford.

I hit the highway to try it out, and noticed that as soon as I hit the pre-programmed 70 mph limit, the car simply would not accelerate any more.

Sometimes, good advice is just as good as a good device.

Rick Beauregard of EZ Way Driver Training said parents are the primary teachers of safe driving habits.

“Model the things you want your kids to do as drivers,” Beauregard said. “Put your phone away so they see your phone’s not out.”

Beauregard said to focus only on driving try this: Check your rear and side view mirrors once every 10 seconds and, of course, lower your speed.

Over Labor Day weekend, five Kalamazoo teenagers were killed in a high-speed crash. Although Beauregard said distracted driving at any speed can be deadly, “those deaths could have occurred at 40 miles an hour in a 25 mile an hour curve.”

That’s something Joe Gesmundo’s mom is well aware of. So until he’s older and more experienced behind the wheel, she said, it’s worth it to know that her own eyes are keeping his on the road.

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