Passing their driving test may be a dream come true for teenagers, but it can be a source of real worry for their parents. Of course, you want your children to learn new skills and gain the freedom and independence that comes with driving, but how can you keep them safe when they’ are out of your reach? Most parents want to know that their teens are driving safely and not going places they shouldn'’t, and now there is a way you can do just that.

How GPS tracking can help

The solution for many worried parents could be to use GPS tracking devices to keep a close eye on their teens while driving. These simple devices are easily fitted onto most vehicles – discreetly if you choose – and they can provide accurate, real-time information on things like the speed and direction of the vehicle. Crucially, GPS trackers can provide information on the location of the vehicle at any given time, no matter where you are in the world.

You can receive this information on your smartphone or laptop, or you can choose a device that responds to SMS requests, texting you the location of the car within a matter of seconds. Most parents would agree that this kind of feature can provide incredible peace of mind as to the safety of their teens, especially if they’ are out later than they said they’d be.

Do you confess all or keep it secret?

Whether or not to use tracking devices to keep an eye on their teenage children can be something of an ethical dilemma for some parents. If you fit the tracking device secretly and don’t tell your child that you're keeping an eye on where they go, you could feel as if you're spying on them. If they find out, it could lead to a breakdown in trust and some real problems with teens who are already at a ‘volatile’ age. The other alternative is to be upfront with your son or daughter and ‘fess all.

If you explain it in the right way, you could come out unscathed. To start with, make it clear to your teen that having a tracking device is a condition of buying them a car or letting them use yours. They'll need to accept the tracking device or not drive at all. If you also explain that the key function of the device is to guarantee their safety – as well as possibly to lower insurance premiums – and agree not to actively monitor their movements unless you have cause for suspicion or it’s absolutely necessary, you may be able to come to an agreement that suits everyone.

They may not realise it, but vehicle tracking can actually be a very good thing for teen drivers too, as parents are more likely to let them go out in the car more often when they know that all movements can be monitored if necessary.

Image credit: Wiki Commons