Say you’re out on the road this holiday season and you spot one or more of the telltale signs of a drunk or distracted driver — swerving, weaving in between lanes, driving too fast or too slow, tailgating, braking erratically, ignoring traffic signs, etc. This makes you nervous, as it would for any safe driver. So what, if anything, should you do?
Statistics show in 2015, there were more than 390,000 injuries and 3,400 fatalities attributed to distracted driving in the U.S., while alcohol-impaired drivers caused 10,265 fatalities and over 290,000 injuries. Car accidents spike over the winter holidays when weather conditions can be dangerous, holiday travel means roads are more congested, and alcohol consumption increases. The pervasiveness of these incidents means that when you suspect another driver of being impaired by alcohol or distraction, you have an obligation to report them.
There are several things you can do to take precaution:
Get out of the way. If you witness erratic driving, before you take any other steps, make sure you are out of the car’s danger zone. Put a safe distance between you and the other car, either by slowing down to let them pass or pulling ahead. Do not tail the other car to collect information, or attempt to stop the driver.
Take note of important information. If you can do so while maintaining a safe distance, take note of the make, model, license plate number, and any other distinctive features of the car, driver, and passengers. If you have a passenger in your car, ask them to record the information.
If you feel you or others are in danger, call 9-1-1. Report a dangerous situation by calling 9-1-1. Share the information you’ve gathered about the other driver, your location and direction of travel, citing the specific behavior you’ve witnessed (i.e. swerving, excessive speed). Have your passenger make this call, or pull over to use the phone if you are alone.
For more minor incidents, report to a non-emergency number. If you don’t feel the behavior endangers others, but you are still concerned, you can report the driver to your local police non-emergency number. Some states have numbers designated for reporting dangerous drivers. In New Jersey, unless the situation is life-threatening, citizens are asked to report drunk or distracted drivers to the #77 Dangerous Driver System. In Colorado, motorists can dial *277 to report aggressive driving that does not put other drivers at risk. Alternatively, local city or police departments often have an online form for reporting reckless driving.
As parents, you want to keep your children safe and teach them right from wrong. In a world where peer pressure and doing what is cool rules, it can be hard to get these lessons across, especially when it comes to driving. One of the easiest ways to do this is to demonstrate good driver role model behavior for your teens.
When parents drive distracted or model other types of poor driving behavior, it does influence teens. A 2014 survey found that parents even phone their teens while their teen is driving, and may not relent until the teen answers. And studies show that teens who are around distracted-driving parents are two to four times more likely to drive distracted themselves.
“The most important thing is for parents to remember from the time their children turn around and face forward in their car seat, they are watching parents driving—and learning,” said Maureen Vogel, Senior Manager, Public Relations, National Safety Council.
1. Stop Behind-the-Wheel Cell Phone Use
One way to model good behavior is not to text while driving. Teens see enough of this on television shows, movies, and possibly in real life with their friends. Whether you know it or not, they do look up to you and you can make a difference. Show them by example that it is not worth risking their lives to answer a question, see a picture, or watch a video while driving.
2. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
It’s estimated that nearly 84 million Americans drive drowsy every day. Drowsy driving constitutes impaired driving, and with severe sleep deprivation, driving becomes extremely risky. But, getting enough sleep can be difficult. This can be especially true if you work a demanding job, or for teens, if they have a lot of after-school commitments and homework. Explain to your teenager why it is so important to get a good night’s sleep and that they should never get behind the wheel if they are feeling drowsy.
Also, know that drinking coffee, listening to loud music, or letting fresh air in will not do the trick—for neither you or your teen. A good night’s rest is the best option for having a safe day behind the wheel. From there, be the example and make sure that both you and your teen get a full eight hours rest every night.
3. Do Not Eat While Driving
These days it is so easy to stop at the drive-thru and grab a meal. We are often rushing from here to there and often must eat on the go. However, this is not a good example for our teenagers.
Rustling in bags, passing food to other passengers, and fiddling with straws is distracting and can lead to accidents. Instead, set the standard by either pulling into a parking space for five minutes and eat what you can of your food or simply wait until you get to your next destination.
Overall, Vogel cautions parents to be mindful of their teens’ always-watching eye.
“Eighty percent of teen drivers look to their parents to be their good driving role models,” Vogel said. “They really pay attention and look to them for guidance”
In providing your teenager with good driving skills and common sense, you are setting your teenager up for a safe, long-lasting driving experience.
Read more from DriversEd.com, I Drive Safely, and eDriving:
- Read our corporate blog post “It’s Time We Take a Stand Against Drowsy Driving” on eDriving.com
- Want to be a defensive driver? Our One More Second defensive driving course teaches advanced skills to make sure you are ready for whatever the road brings
- Read our corporate blog post “As fatigue is declared a deadly epidemic, it’s time for drivers to wake up to the danger of drowsy driving” on eDriving.com
Teaching their teens to drive is a rite of passage for many Texas parents, but the process is still often nerve-wracking for both parties. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available to make teaching your teen to drive as straightforward and stress-free as possible. Our app, Mentor for Families by eDriving, allows you to monitor your teen’s driving progress in real time, acting as your child’s personal driving coach and generating a FICO® Safe Driving Score after every trip. Information is stored on your teen’s favorite device – their smartphone. As you use the app to monitor your teen’s progress, read on for our recommendation on the right path to take toward parent-taught drivers education success.
Start the teaching process by completing Form DL-92, Request for a New Parent-Taught Drivers Education Packet, online. Before you receive your packet, the state of Texas will conduct a simple background check, ensuring you are indeed the student’s parent, step-parent, grandparent, foster parent or legal guardian, and that you have had a valid Texas driver’s license for at least the prior three years. Parents whose license has been revoked or suspended for traffic-related offenses within the past three years are ineligible, as are any parents with six or more current points on their license. Once this background check is concluded, expect to receive the packet in two to three weeks.
Act as an Educator
When you start teaching your child to drive, you’re no longer just a parent – you’re also an educator. That means your duties extend beyond teaching your teen how to back up and parallel park. You must also talk to your teen about safe driving practices and how to spot issues before they occur. As a parent, you already know that much of driving safely involves watching out for the other guy, and it’s a lesson to impart to your teenager.
Too many parents make the mistake of only taking their teens driving on local, low-traffic roads in the light of day. For teens to really understand the rudiments of driving and traffic safety, they must experience highway driving, driving at night and during inclement weather, and driving on unfamiliar roads. Real life driving involves these situations, and the best way for your teen to learn to navigate these circumstance is by having a concerned parent along for advice.
Practice, Practice, Practice
If there’s a mantra for teaching your teen to drive, it’s “Practice, practice, practice.” Texas requires just 44 hours of supervised behind the wheel driving, of which 10 must be conducted at night. Ideally, you and your child will spend even more time in driver training, so your teen receives more time behind the wheel and you gain confidence in your teen’s ability.
Use the Driver Education Log Sheet
Parents are responsible for maintaining the Driver Education Log Sheet, a document containing the necessary objectives for course completion. As your teen reaches each driving milestone, you must sign off on the log sheet. When your child is ready to apply for their driver’s license, the sheet is presented to your local Department of Public Safety.
Involved parents keep teens safe. The time you spend training your teen to drive serves as an important bonding experience, but it is so much more. Research shows that teens with involved parents are much less likely to get into car accidents than those lacking strong parental involvement levels. Texas Parent Taught Drivers Ed may prove one of the most critical gifts you’ve ever given your teenager.
Read more of our resources on teen drivers education:
On Halloween once-quiet streets suddenly fill with bustling trick-or-treaters making their way from house to house. Although the night is for children to revel in costumes and candy, for parents and caregivers, making sure kids stay safe while going door-to-door can be stressful, and a challenge. Driving collisions are more common on Halloween, and children should take additional precautions when navigating the neighborhood.
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a vehicle and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. The number of drunk drivers on the streets increases and so does the fatality toll. In fact, in 2012, 48 percent of all collision deaths on Halloween involved a drunk driver, whereas that rate is only 31 percent on any other day. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), pedestrians counted for 28 percent of Halloween fatalities, double the rate of an average day.
A traditional nighttime celebration, the excitement of costumes, treats, and alcoholic beverages can set the scene for unexpected tragedies. Driving accidents occur most often at night, as it’s more difficult for drivers to see their surroundings. The escalating use of cell phones while on the behind the wheel has made roads more dangerous. The Federal Communications Commission states that there are around 660,000 drivers using electronic devices at any given time, and that figure is only growing. In 2015, the NHTSA found that distracted driving resulted in 3,477 deaths and 391,000 injuries.
So, before your children set out on Halloween to collect their candy, take advantage of these 5 child pedestrian safety tips:
- Children under 12 should trick-or-treat with an adult. Children who are older can go with friends as long as they have a lay of the land and know the route back home. They should also have emergency contact numbers ready, and protocol in place in case an accident happens.
- Instead of donning a mask, opt for face paint for your child. Not only is a heavy mask uncomfortable, but it can also obstruct your child’s line of vision.
- Make sure your child looks in both directions, and left again, before crossing the street. If they hear or sense alarming activity, tell them to hang back until the coast is clear. At crosswalks, children should make eye contact with drivers before crossing.
- Teach your child to keep an eye for parked cars, and to never run in between them. Even if a car is stationary, that doesn’t mean it can’t move in an instant.
- Make them visible. Colorful costumes are easiest for drivers to spot. However, if your child is set on dressing up as Darth Vader, or in any other completely black outfit, it’s important that they have some kind of flashlight, reflective tape, or some other kind of illumination on their costume so that drivers are aware of their presence. Aesthetics aside, it’s important that your child’s costume fits properly to prevent trips and falls.
Hey everyone, long time no see! As you guys know, I am a high school junior. There is so much that goes into junior year – lots of homework, a bunch of projects, and at least a few tests everyday. It can get super stressful! And with such a busy schedule it’s really hard to fit in driving. Here are some ways I have found to squeeze driving into a busy school schedule:
- Ask your parents to let you drive to or from school. In California, more than half of the kids don’t have buses available to them, so depending on how far it is to school, this drive can be a great way to add on some minutes to your driving record. I live about a fifteen-minute drive from my school so it’s an easy and convenient way to rack up hours.
- Use the weekends to your advantage, usually on the weekends my family goes to the movies, or the beach, or a special outing, or something of that nature. Since I have gotten my permit I have always asked to drive. Experience is everything when it comes to driving, so ask to drive as much as possible.
- Suggest a family outing once a week. Offer to drive the family somewhere to gain practice once a week, like going out for ice cream on a Sunday evening. This will also help you break out of your routine and develop other driving skills, such as nighttime driving.
- Always offer to drive. Lastly I think this serves as a good blanket rule to follow – always offer to drive! Like I said before, experience is everything, drive as much as possible, and as often as possible, to prepare for your driving exam. Practice makes perfect, so try to drive a lot before you take you test.
When you have a busy schedule, it can be hard to find time to drive with your parents, but there are lots of ways to fit it in. Of course, you need to make sure some hours are in the evening, some during the day, and to be really good (if you live in an urban area, like my home city of Oakland, Calif.) your driving experience should include some of the tough passages like the MacArthur Maze, which is two miles from my house and where four freeways meet! It isn’t where I started driving the first couple of months but gradually I have taken on these tougher routes.
If you’re still looking for some extra help while you practice, don’t forget to download the new Mentor for Families by eDriving app which tracks your driving hours, performance, and provides helpful training tips to improve your driving skills. Happy driving!
Read more from DriversEd.com’s teen blogger Jett Roberts:
- Teen blogger Jett Roberts talks 1-on-1 with a DriversEd.com driving instructor
- Teen talk: 5 Stars for Mentor, eDriving’s new app!
- Teen Blogger Jett Roberts Picks up Defensive Driving Tips in his Interview with a DriversEd.com Instructor
Are you a parent who panics at the mention of “supervised driving practice”? Here’s a suggestion: Look at it as a great opportunity. The driver’s education stage is the best time you’ll have to influence and shape your teen’s lifelong driving behavior.
In 2013, teens 15-19 represented only 7% of the U.S. population. However, they accounted for 11% ($10 billion) of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries. That’s why all 50 states and the District of Columbia impose a three-stage Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) system. Most states require the learner stage of GDL programs to include at least six months of supervised driving practice, or longer. While this is the ideal time for your teen to gain experience in various driving situations, many parents don’t know how best to train and support their teen during this period, other than riding along with them. Know that there is much more to supervised driving practice than “collecting” hours—it’s what you do with your teen during those hours that counts.
Lack of variety
A report published by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says the types of driving practice teens are currently getting is “relatively homogeneous”; they’re regularly driving in residential neighborhoods and light traffic, but less frequently in more challenging situations such as highways, inclement weather, darkness, and heavy traffic.
“The vast majority of practice is the same trips, the same routines over and over again, so teens might be driving to school each day or driving to church on Sunday. And those might be the only settings in which teens are getting practice,” said report author Arthur Goodwin, Senior Research Associate, University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center. “By the time they are eligible for their license, we have teens who have never been on an interstate highway, never driven in bad weather or at night—situations they’ll be driving in once they are on their own. And ideally, we want them to experience those more challenging settings for the first time with a parent there to help.”
The main obstacle to varied practice, it seems, is time, and the fact that families tend to incorporate driving practice into “typical family travel”.
“Driving practice is generally squeezed in wherever the family has time and opportunity,” Goodwin said. To provide different training experiences for your teen, you’ll likely need to make a few special trips.
Communication is important during supervised driving practice, but parents appear to be focusing on practical instructions such as vehicle handling and giving directions, Goodwin said, rather than providing useful advice on skills like scanning, hazard perception, and anticipating the behavior of others.
“Parents could be doing a lot more to help their teens learn to see the road like an experienced driver, such as learning to spot hazards in advance, rather than slowing down at the last minute; helping them spot trouble before it occurs,” said Goodwin. “Many parents aren’t taking full advantage of the six to 12 months of driving practice because most of the time they are more or less sitting there as passengers. Teens are getting practice, but they’re probably not learning as much from that practice as we would have hoped.”
OK, so you’re not a driving instructor!
Let’s be realistic: it’s likely parents have zero to very little experience in teaching teenagers how to drive. And to make things even more challenging, Goodwin said, “most parents learned to drive before the GDL existed, so they didn’t have these long supervised driving periods. Parents have no ‘model’ to look back on, so they are coming up with this themselves.”
5 ways parents can effectively train their teen during supervised driving practice:
- Practice, practice, practice. State supervised driving hours are a minimum. The more your teen drives, the more experienced they’ll be when they get on the road alone.
- Increase variety. Once your teen’s ready, let them progress from residential streets and light traffic to busier roads with heavier traffic.
- Break the routine. Make special trips so your teen experiences driving in all settings, such as in the dark and in the rain.
- Communicate. Help your teen see the road like an experienced driver. Encourage them to look well ahead for hazards, scan the road and drive defensively.
- Continue coaching. Once your teen has his or her full driving license, don’t just hand over the keys. Continue supervising when appropriate—and keep track of when and where your teen is driving.
A job well done, but not over
What happens when your teen does pass their driving test? Your effort is not over. Goodwin recommends parents continue supervising their teens’ driving, by varied means.
“They could continue to supervise on occasions; say if there is snow or ice and the teen has never driven in that setting,” he said. “Parents also need to keep very close track of when and where their teens are driving. There may be settings in which the teen hasn’t had an opportunity to get much practice so maybe their driving in that setting should be limited. If they haven’t driven much at night, for example, then even though the teen has a license and even though there might be license restrictions on nighttime driving, parents might want to add their own restrictions on driving in the dark until they have chance to get out for more practice.”
Thanks to new technology, you can now supervise your teen even when you’re not in the car with them. In fact, technology can give you a helping hand to teach your teen to drive. And you can use it to monitor your teen’s approach to safe driving, including monitoring your teen’s driving performance, such as braking and acceleration trends, obeying speed limits, and avoiding distractions.
“There is a space for technology, and that’s something most families seem to welcome, especially if it can make their lives easier. If we can find ways to use that tool to encourage parents to help their teens to become safer drivers, that is an even greater benefit.” — Arthur Goodwin, UNC Highway Safety Research Center
eDriving and DriversEd.com have the tools to help:
- Mentor for Families by eDriving, is a smartphone app that serves as a “coach at your fingertips” during supervised driving. It tracks journeys, helps you log your teen’s driving hours and provides in-app coaching. Once your teen is driving independently it helps them maintain good habits and lets you see how they are doing on the road.
- eDriving’s interactive One More Second® online course is the ideal preparation for supervised practice. Retrain your own habits and learn ways to instruct your teen in two hours.
- Professional in-car lessons with a driving instructor are the perfect supplement to parent coaching. Why not ride along with your teen to pick up tips from an expert?
Why? Drivers under the age of 20 have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes. And because of this dangerous trend, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is urging parents and teens to take essential steps to prevent crashes this week, dubbed National Teen Driver Safety Week.
But first, it’s time to assess your own driving behavior: Are you a good example of safe driving? Also, do you talk with your teen often enough about the risks they face on the road?
Once they’re driving independently, teen drivers are a high-risk group. In 2015, almost 2,000 teen drivers were involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes and 99,000 were injured on the roads. The good news: Teen driver crashes are preventable and there’s plenty you can do to help protect your teen.
“Parents are one of the top influences on teen driver safety. Parents need to start the conversation, set the standard and spell out the rules for their teen when they start getting behind the wheel,” the NHTSA stated. “Self-reported surveys show that teens whose parents impose driving restrictions and set good examples typically engage in less risky driving and are involved in fewer crashes.”
The big six
The NHTSA has identified six specific driving behaviors teenagers engage in that can be extremely risky:
- Drinking and driving
- Not wearing a seat belt
- Driving with passengers
- Driving tired
Make sure your teen is aware of each of these dangerous behaviors and help them understand why – and how – they can increase his or her likelihood of becoming involved in a crash. Tell them how important it is to avoid putting themselves, and others, at risk.
Next, share the facts with your teen. For example, did you know that in 2015, almost one in five teen drivers involved in fatal crashes had been drinking? And that, according to research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, distraction is a factor in nearly 6 out of 10 moderate-to-severe teen crashes? As for carrying passengers, NHTSA research shows that teen drivers are 2.5 times more likely to engage in one or more potentially risky behaviors when driving with one teenage peer, compared to driving alone. The risk triples when driving with multiple passengers.
Be sure to impose mobile device restrictions on your teen while they are operating a vehicle. The use of cell phones and other electronic devices is a particularly big risk factor for teen drivers. We’ve highlighted the reasons why before, including phone addiction, an “always-on” lifestyle and “Fear Of Missing Out” (FOMO). Yet, teens aren’t the only ones addicted to their phones. According to Common Sense Media, a nonprofit dedicated to helping children thrive in a world of media and technology, parents use media for entertainment just as much as their kids, yet have concerns about their children’s media use.
“American teens use an average of nine hours of media daily, not including for school or homework. Meanwhile, a majority of parents (56%) admit they’ve checked their phones while driving, and their teens are watching—and, in many cases, copying that behavior,” said Common Sense Media founder and CEO, Jim Steyer. “Any parent who has sent their teen out on the road hopes that he or she is not using their phone while driving, but what example have you set as the driver your kids have watched the most? Parents should make it clear that mixing keys and phones is absolutely unacceptable, set clear rules (and consider downloading apps that can help enforce them), and set an example by not using the phone while driving.”
Rules and consequences
All 50 states and the District of Columbia have a three-stage Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) system that limits high-risk driving situations for new drivers. The NHTSA says GDL can reduce your teen’s crash risk by 50%. Familiarizing yourself with your state’s GDL laws will enable you to enforce the restrictions and establish important ground rules to keep your teen safe.
As a family, you can take this a step further and all agree to follow a set of safe driving rules. Mike Sample, Lead Driving Expert and Technical Consultant at Liberty Mutual, believes a teen driving contract is the ideal conversation starter.
“Parents are key influencers when it comes to teens’ behaviors behind the wheel – both their current habits and ones they may pick up as they gain experience and confidence,” he said. “In fact, four out of five parents admit to phone use while driving. It’s key not to critique just your teen’s driving behaviors, but use observations about both your and your teen’s habits behind the wheel as learning experiences. Families can use the Liberty Mutual and SADD teen driving contract as a conversation starter and discussion guide. The contract outlines important safety issues and can offer an easy way for all members of the family to agree on predetermined rules.”
Parents, here are our top five tips to help encourage your teen to drive safe this National Teen Driver Safety Week and every week:
- Strike up conversations with your teen about the risks they face, including traveling as a passenger with other teens.
- Set a good example by modeling the correct driving behavior to your teen.
- Define expectations and agree consequences for breaking the rules.
- Continue coaching your teen in the first weeks and months of driving. eDriving’s new smartphone app, Mentor for Families by eDriving provides neutral coaching to help your teen maintain good driving habits – while providing you with visibility into how your teen is doing out on the road.
- Reward good driving behavior. If your teen’s driving is great, let them know! Mentor’s FICO® Safe Driving Score allows you to set goals to ensure your teen continues to improve and maintain good driving habits.
Read more about teen driver safety:
- Mentor for Families app provides ongoing improvement for new teen drivers
- Forget backpacks. The most important thing you can give your teen this school year is sleep
- Know before you go: Who’s in my car?
More resources for parents of teen drivers can be found on nhtsa.gov.
So, your teen is ready for supervised driving practice. That’s excellent! But, where do you, as the parent, begin? The process can seem a little daunting. But, with a helping hand, you can use the supervised practice period to shape your teen into a safe, confident driver who is ready for anything on the road.
Mentor for Families by eDriving is a personal coach that gives you the confidence you’re teaching your teen everything they need to learn during supervised driving practice. The Mentor app will help you log your teen’s driving hours and keep track of the trips your teen has made. Better still, you’ll receive reassurance that your teen is building the skills they need to be a safe driver.
And, because Mentor is app-based, everything is stored on your teen’s smartphone. That means that you – and your teen – can review their progress at the touch of a screen.
One step at a time
Learning to become a safe driver doesn’t happen overnight. Of course, that’s the whole point of the supervised driving practice period: it takes time to develop the skills needed to be a confident and competent driver. Our expert recommendation is to wait until your teen has completed their driving lessons with a professional instructor before you let them begin practice driving. After that, it’s time to take practicing to the road.
Here’s a top tip for you. Begin supervised practice in a parking lot or quiet residential area. And, in the first few lessons, only expect your teen to drive a few miles. Start with the basics, such as simple vehicle control, then move onto longer trips. The tricky part is knowing when your teen’s ready to learn a new skill. Mentor for Families details how your teen is progressing with key skills such as braking, cornering, and acceleration. And you’ll easily identify weaker areas before they turn into bad habits!
Tracking driving hours
During supervised practice, your teen must rack up a certain number of driving hours (check the requirements where you live), including some at night. Your teen should gradually build experience of driving at different times of day, in various locations, on every day of the week and in all types of weather. This exposes them to a wide range of driving environments and helps prepare them for driving alone.
Keeping track of this information is a breeze with Mentor, as the app records the details of every trip your teen makes – including the time, date and exact route. And, because it gives your teen a FICO® Safe Driving Score after every trip, you can see how their skills improve as they make repeat journeys. To ensure your teen’s score improves, Mentor supplements your training with a “playlist” of 3- to 5-minute, in-app coaching modules based on his or her driving performance. So, your teen gets to see exactly where they’re going wrong and how they can improve before they get back on the road.
Shaping good driving behavior
The supervised period is the time when YOU have the opportunity to influence the way your teen drives, forever. That’s why it’s important to make the most of it.
Think of Mentor for Families like a Fitbit for new drivers. You don’t wait until you’re at the peak of fitness to start monitoring your progress with Fitbit. You start measuring your performance right away so you can identify areas for improvement, strive to do better, and feel a sense of achievement when you accomplish your goals. That’s exactly what Mentor can do for your teen during the supervised period. And the best news is that your teen will learn to be a safer driver from day one!
A final tip: Go practice driving with your teen as often as you can. And don’t view your state’s required number of driving hours as a goal. View it as the very minimum, and go way beyond! Taking your teen practice driving in the rain might seem odd, but it will give them tons more confidence for when they must do it alone. And once your teen is driving independently, Mentor is the peace of mind you need that they’re sticking to the rules of the road and maintaining the good driving habits that you’ve helped to shape.
Get a head start: Download Mentor for Families to help track your teen’s progress during the supervised driving practice period.
Learn more about Mentor for Families by eDriving:
- Read how Mentor provides “Driving guidance for your teen when you can’t be there” on DriversEd.com
- Read “Mentor for Families: From fleet solution to consumer necessity” on the eDriving Newsroom
- Learn more details about Mentor and get the app
Congratulations on passing your driving test! Obtaining a driver’s license provides a lot of freedom and flexibility to do more of what you want to do. But that freedom comes with a lot of responsibility because being on the road puts other people’s safety, and sometimes their lives, in your hands. How can you continue improving your driving skills beyond the driving test, and beyond trial and error?
Driving is about skills and habits
While studying for your driving test, you had to learn about traffic rules and the procedures involved in handling a vehicle. You had the opportunity to practice these skills during your provisional license so that you could learn them well enough to pass your driving test.
But like any new skill, driving well takes practice so that the rules and procedures become ingrained—they become habits. Eventually, you won’t even conscientiously think about the maneuvers you’ll make on the road. But before then, you need to develop good habits.
A new app from eDriving, called Mentor for Families by eDriving, can help you do that.
Tracking and training for ongoing improvement
The Mentor for Families app downloads onto any smartphone, tablet, or computer and tracks and rates your driving habits based on six risky behaviors, including:
- Distracted driving
- Rapid acceleration
- Phone usage
The idea is to track the behaviors around driving, which extend beyond skills and knowledge of the road, to build and reinforce good habits. It’s like having your own personal driving coach. Mentor collects data from each drive and provides a report and assessment, both per trip and trends over time. You’ll also get proactive prompts to reinforce certain skills, and encouragement when you’ve shown improvement.
Proof of better driving
By tracking your data over time and engaging in the process of improving your driving skills, you can demonstrate your responsibility behind the wheel using Mentor’s FICO® Safe Driving Score, which consolidates all your driving data into a single unit of measure.
Demonstrating an improved FICO® score might help convince your parents of allowing extra privileges, such as staying out an extra hour or taking the car for a weekend camping trip. Your FICO® score might also come in handy if you end up in a fender bender and need to help convince your insurance provider that you are an overall safe driver.
Improving your FICO® score might also provide a few bragging rights among your friends. Who has the highest score?
Small investment, safe rewards
Improving your driving skills is good all around, ranging from reduced risk of accidents to getting more driving privileges. But it can also provide new drivers with more encouragement and confidence while they’re still getting comfortable behind the wheel.
Download Mentor for Families today to start building your skills and tracking your improvement. You’ll learn faster, be able to track your progress, and be a safer driver.
Learn more about Mentor for Families by eDriving:
- Read how Mentor provides “Driving guidance for your teen when you can’t be there” on DriversEd.com
- Read “Mentor for Families: From fleet solution to consumer necessity” on the eDriving Newsroom
- Learn more details about Mentor and get the app
Your teen passed their driving test, congratulations! But, wait a minute. While your teen might have mastered parallel parking, have they also developed good judgement? Are they making good choices? Can you feel comfortable letting them drive other family members around?
Every parent wants to ensure that their teen is safe behind the wheel, but not every parent has the time to provide ongoing coaching beyond the permit process. Mentor for Families by eDriving, is a new mobile app that allows you to stay involved with your teen’s driving when you can’t be there in person.
Mentor for Families can be downloaded to iOS or Android smartphones to track your teen’s driving habits and provide proactive feedback on maintaining responsible behaviors. Mentor goes beyond the skills involved in driving to focus instead on the choices drivers make based on their overall attitude.
Developing good habits
All drivers, especially newer drivers, need some reminders to keep them aware and responsible of their driving habits, and the first year behind the wheel is when those habits are setting in.
When your teen driver appears to be making a bad choice or repeating a bad habit, Mentor doesn’t just track the behavior, it proactively warns your teen of the consequences—just like you would if you were in the car with them. When your teen is maintaining good driving habits, Mentor supports them with positive reinforcement.
Parents can stay involved with their teen’s driver coaching by logging into the web app to see how their teen did throughout the day and over time.
Research backed and data driven
To help develop good driving habits, Mentor relies on best practices drawn from the most effective models in weight-loss, fitness and behavioral change programs. Mentor combines these models with the research-backed driver improvement approaches eDriving has developed and proven through Fortune 150 clients worldwide over two decades.
To make driving improvement simple, Mentor collects driver data for each trip and over time to build an overall FICO® Safe Driving Score. This allows you and your teen to track progress and set goals. Mentor helps increase the FICO® score by providing customized “playlists” of interactive training interventions, tips, reminders and progress reports based on which habits your teen needs to improve.
Set goals and enjoy peace of mind
Mentor provides neutral coaching to help your teen develop good driving habits while also providing you some visibility into how your teen is doing out on the road. You can relax a little—and probably avoid a few bickering sessions by you not having to “nag” your teen about their driving.
Mentor’s FICO® score also allows you to set some goals for improving and then maintaining good driving habits. Perhaps you can identify a reward for when your teen reaches or maintains a certain FICO® score. Or turn it into a game to see which drivers in your family are the safest and who “wins” by having the highest FICO® score (maybe the winner gets to drive everyone to an ice cream outing).
Busy parents certainly aren’t too busy to still worry. Using Mentor for Families not only helps your teen ingrain good driving behaviors; it also provides a way for you to stay connected with your kid on the road so you can have some peace of mind.