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Getting a Drivers License Post-Graduation Could Impact Teen Driving Safety

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This time of year high school seniors and their parents are only focused on one thing – graduation! After 13+ years of classroom activities, hours of homework and countless tests seniors have finally earned that coveted diploma.

But more and more high school graduates haven’t earned their driver’s license yet. The University of Michigan has been keeping tabs on teen driving rates for decades, and their research shows the rate of high school seniors with driver’s licenses has dropped from 85.3% in 1996 to an all-time low of 71.2% in 2015.

Upon first glance, this may seem like a good thing. If teens wait two or three extra years they’ll be more mature, right? Plus, parents don’t have to worry about how their kid is performing behind the wheel at the tender age of 16 years old.

However, in the long, run teens that delay getting their driver’s license may be at an increased risk of getting into an accident.


Why Teens Are Putting Off Driving

Teens have all sorts of reasons for delaying their driver’s test. A 2013 USA Today survey found that 18-19-year-olds are more likely to cite the following reasons for not having a license:

  • Too busy – 56.6%
  • They get rides from others – 40.4%
  • Prefer to bike or walk – 24.2%

The survey does point to the well-known fact that Millennials are more likely to opt for a home in a walkable area than other generations. Another 2012 survey by the AAA Foundation found that 39% of 18-20-year-olds without a license felt they could get around just fine without one.

Another interesting reason that was revealed in the AAA survey was that drivers education played a role for many young adults. Of those who didn’t have a license before high school graduation, 28% said it was partly due to drivers ed courses and 26% stated the cost of drivers ed being too expensive. This is often the case in states that have stopped offering drivers ed programs through public schools.


Drivers Ed and the Effects of Delayed Teen Driving

In the state of Washington, they’ve noticed the same increase in young people waiting until they’re 18 or older to get a license. Since 2004 Washington saw a 41% increase in 18-21-year-olds getting their learners’ permit. But the Department of Licensing points out 18-21-year-old drivers are actually riskier than 16-17-year-old drivers.

The department’s data shows that on average drivers who wait until 18 or older to get a license receive about three times more citations than people who start driving at 16 years old. After analyzing the data of drivers between 16-25 years old who had only been driving two years, Washington’s Department of Licensing found that 16-year-olds (permitted at 15) had the least traffic tickets.

Why are high school teenagers the better drivers? Experts say it comes down to more restrictions and oversight. In order for a 16-year-old to get a drivers license in Washington, they must have a permit first and pass drivers ed courses. People who are 18 and older just have to pass a test to get a drivers license.

Clearly, when teen drivers take the time to learn proper driving skills it’s reflected by their performance on the road. Another study from the University of Nebraska backs this up. The study found that teens who take drivers ed courses are much less likely to be involved in a fatal crash. Those who haven’t had any sort of training are 75% more likely to get a traffic ticket and 24% more likely to be in a fatal or injury accident.

At DriveBetter we understand that learning to drive should be fun! That’s why we developed a driver monitoring system that makes teaching teens to drive easier on kids and parents. Our teen driving app uses data from the vehicle to give your young driver a safety score and suggestions on how to improve their driving habits. Sign up today and pay just $10 a month (including support for multiple drivers and vehicles). DriveBetter is an affordable way to help coach your teen driver even when you aren’t in the car!

Discover how DriverBetter helps improve teen driving safety by building good habits!

Where Would a Tracking Device Be on a Car?

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One of the most common questions we get is, where would a tracking device be on a car? While some vehicle upgrades are expensive and complicated to install, OBD devices like DriveBetter are a snap to put into place.

Let’s take a look at what an OBD port is, why it’s important if you want to track driving and how an OBD device is used.


What is an OBD Port?

The on-board diagnostics (OBD) port, sometimes called the OBD-II port, is a component of virtually every vehicle produced after 1996. The on-board diagnostics system tracks every move and emission your vehicle makes. It’s the same system that will trigger the check engine light if a problem is detected.

Like your neighborhood mechanic, you can take advantage of OBD technology with the right tools. The OBD system works by using diagnostic trouble codes (DTC). The codes indicate certain performance measurements and functions as well as where a vehicle travels. Devices that connect to a vehicle’s OBD port are able to interpret the diagnostic trouble codes and convert it into useable information.

Because OBD-II systems are standardized, it’s possible for companies like DriveBetter to develop consumer tools that can tap into all of the knowledge stored inside your vehicle’s diagnostic center.


Where to Put a GPS Tracker in a Car

The DriveBetter OBD driver monitoring system is designed to be easy to use so you can quickly swap it out between vehicles. Easy installation also means teen drivers don’t have an excuse for not using the device.

OBD devices plug into place in seconds. The trick is you have to locate your OBD port. If you’ve never used one before, you may be wondering where to put a GPS tracker in a car. Many people think it needs to be connected to the engine, but the OBD port is actually much more accessible.

In most vehicles the OBD port is located under the dash on the driver side just below the steering wheel. Of course, the OBD port location is going to vary slightly depending on the make, model and year of the vehicle. For instance, the OBD port in a 2004 Honda Accord is just to the left of the steering wheel in the driver’s kick panel. But in a 2014 Chevrolet Equinox, the OBD port is directly under the steering wheel near the hood release lever.

Check out this DriveBetter demo video for a look at how easy it is to plug our OBD device in and get driving.

The OBD port is a small rectangle that looks similar to an HDMI port. It’s usually black but could be gray or white. Once the DriveBetter OBD device is plugged in it will start gathering data and creating reports that can be viewed on your smartphone.

Our OBD monitoring device works with most vehicles models that were made after 1996. Cars, SUVs, Trucks – they should all be compatible.


Want to make sure your teen is driving safely?

Use the safe driving app and OBD device that’s teaching teens to drive better one ride at a time. Get the DriveBetter driver monitoring system for just $10 a month!

Support Teen Driver Safety on Kickstarter

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DriveBetter is available for pre-order on Kickstarter for a limited time. Please join us in our campaign to encourage safe driving habits for the entire family.

Early backers can save $100!

Andre was worried about his daughter Sophie when she started driving. Now DriveBetter can give him piece of mind. DriveBetter also helps Sophie drive safer with relevant and timely tips to improve her driving.

Learn more and watch our video on our Kickstarter.

DriveBetter measures your driving

DriveBetter measures the symptoms of bad (or good) driving. Each driver earns a score. The score is based on a number of alerts:

  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving / swerving
  • Hard braking
  • Aggressive acceleration
  • Rough roads (e.g. curbs, too fast thru dips)
  • Accidents

Along with the score, the DriveBetter coach provides helpful tips to improve your score. For example, if your score has excessive hard braking this indicates distracted driving or following too close.

Parents make a difference

Parents know how hard it can be to get a teenager to listen, and how attached they are to their phones! So, we leverage their beloved phone to effectively to reach them.

Research indicates that parent involvement is a key factor in reducing car crashes for teens. Driving is a privilege and a responsibility. Therefore, we built DriveBetter as a tool to help parents be involved in encouraging safe driving habits.

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Parents are key to a safer teen driver

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The ninth annual National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW for short) 2016 kicks off Monday, October 16 and runs through Sunday, October 22, 2016. This full week is designated by Congress each year to raise awareness of teen driver safety topics and to encourage safe teen driver and passenger behavior.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 15 to 19 year-olds in the United States. A recent study released by AAA and reported by CBS This Morning.

“The number of teenagers involved in deadly car crashes is rising for the first time in nearly a decade. New data from federal regulators reveal a 10-percent increase last year in teen driving deaths. Teens are more than one-and-a-half times more likely than adults to be involved in a deadly crash.”

Scare tactics and using tracking-type devices alone aren’t the answer. Research shows that teens understand they are vulnerable and are well aware of many risks. Instead of battling with your teen, focus on positive actions your new teen driver can take to drive safe and the importance of keeping their passengers safe can be a more powerful message for teens.

During NTDSW, we are asking parents, grandparents and/or loved ones to take action to help prevent teen driver crashes and promote safer driving habits – learn how you can make a difference today with DriveBetter.

National Teen Driver Safety Week 2016

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National Teen Driver Safety Week takes place October 16-22, 2016.

This is good chance to talk about driving safety.

5 simple rules for your teen driver before they hit the road. Help them drive better:

  1. No cell phones
  2. No extra passengers
  3. No speeding
  4. No alcohol or drugs
  5. Buckle up

Video by US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA).
The USDOTNHTSA’s mission is to save lives on the nation’s highways.