May 24, 2019|

Track Your Teen Driver with Vivint Car Guard

For most American teens, turning 16 marks an important rite of passage—being able to get their driver's license. It's an exciting time for teens because it gives them a newfound sense of independence and responsibility.

For parents, however, it can be worrisome. In fact, one survey found parents of teens worry more about their driving than they do drugs, alcohol, or sex—and for good reason. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for teens, and 16-year-olds get in more accidents than any other age group.

But these sobering statistics don't mean you have to be terrified every time your teen grabs the keys to drive somewhere.

With a GPS tracker like Vivint Car Guard, you can monitor and stay informed of your teen's driving habits.

Ways to track your teen driver

So, you want to track your teen's driving. But how do you go about doing it?

There are a couple of different ways you can track your teen driver—through their phone or through their vehicle.

Phone tracking

Teens spend a lot of time online on their phones and mobile devices—nine hours a day on average—practically making it a full-time job. With that in mind, it’s safe to say your teen is probably near their phone 24/7. And that makes them easy to track via their mobile device.

Phones are equipped with satellite technology called GPS (Global Positioning System). This provides coordinates for the phone's location, so you can pinpoint where it is at any given time.

Cell phone features that allow you to find your lost phone use GPS, as do many other devices and services, like fitness trackers, emergency personnel, and online maps.

You can track your teen via phone through a number of third-party apps or your cell phone provider, if your teen is on your phone plan.

While it's true you can find out your teen’s location through an app, that does little to tell you about their driving habits. What’s more, if their phone runs out of battery life, you won’t be able to track them via their phone until it is on again. And if they leave it in their locker, forget it at a friend’s house, or it gets stolen, you could get an inaccurate location altogether.

Vivint Car Guard Smartphone
Concered about where your teen is taking your car? Keep an eye on them with a GPS car tracker.

GPS driver tracking

A more reliable way to track your teen’s driving is through a car GPS tracker. This is a device that is installed in a car and, like phone tracking, can provide you information about the car's whereabouts. This is particularly useful for locating a stolen vehicle or one that needs emergency assistance. 

Depending on the tracker’s capabilities, this type of device typically records a number of things associated with driving, including:

  • Location
  • Average speed
  • Number of hard stops
  • Average miles driven
  • Details about a trip, such as the time driving started and ended or the route taken

Using a GPS tracking device offers several benefits over phone tracking because it will provide the car's location even if the car is not running or in use, unlike a phone, which has to be powered on to track.

It also provides data that's related to your child's driving habits, so you can see how safe your teen's driving actually is on the road.

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How GPS tracking keeps teen drivers safe

GPS tracking works by showing you where your teen and their car are located, along with specific details like speed and aggressive driving habits.

This information definitely provides parents with valuable information about their teen's driving, but should you really use a tracker? And most importantly, does it really help your teen develop good driving habits?

The answer? Yes and yes. GPS tracking is beneficial to both parents and their teens in a number of ways.

Provide insight into driving habits

Sure, your teen may have been a model driver during his driver’s test or practice sessions with you, but have you ever wondered if he drives as carefully while alone or with friends? The answer may worry you.

According to research by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, a fatal accident is five times more likely to occur when there are two or more teen passengers in the car. This is particularly true of males, who were six times more likely to perform an illegal maneuver and twice as likely to drive aggressively before a crash when they had passengers in the car.

With a GPS tracker, you can find out if your teen is driving aggressively. Statistics like speed, hard stops, or rapid acceleration can provide insight into how your teen is driving.

Woman Checking Phone Notification
Another reason to invest in a GPS tracker for your teen's vehicle? You'll be able to keep an eye on their driving habits.

Help save money

Once your teen starts driving, you no longer have to worry about dropping them off at school, soccer practice, or giving rides to the mall.

But while your teen’s new license might help you save time, there’s one thing it won’t help you save—money. Adding a teenager to your insurance policy increases rates a staggering 152% on average. And if your teen gets a ticket, that number rises even more.

A GPS tracker can help you save money on insurance by tracking your teen’s driving habits and then taking appropriate action so they can avoid an expensive run-in with the police.

So if the speed limit from school to his best friend’s house is a steady 35 miles per hour but your GPS tracker logs the average speed of his route at 45, you’ll know your teen may have issues obeying the speed limit.

Not only will this insight help you save money by avoiding tickets, but with speed cited as the factor in more than 30% of teen driving deaths, addressing speed issues early on can potentially help prevent future accidents and deaths.

Encourage good driving habits

A GPS tracker not only provides plenty of benefits to parents of teen drivers, but to teenage drivers as well. Teens who want independence may have a harder time seeing the pros of a GPS tracker in their car, but it can keep them safer while driving as well.

If your son or daughter knows their driving habits are being monitored, they’re more likely to obey road rules and be more aware of their surroundings—especially if the threat of taking their keys away looms over them.

A GPS tracker also provides added safety. If your teen gets lost or their car is stolen, it can pinpoint the car’s location for authorities or emergency personnel.

What parents need to know about teen driver tracking

A GPS tracking system typically consists of a device that you plug into the vehicle's onboard diagnostics port, called the OBD-ii, found under the dashboard of most cars built after 1996. Once you have the device, you can access its data via a mobile app or online tool.

This service is not as expensive as you may think. You'll purchase the tracking device for a one-time cost. Depending on its features and capabilities, this can run anywhere from under $100 to around $500. From there, you'll pay a monthly service fee to access the tracking data.

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To tell or not to tell?

You've decided to get a GPS tracker for your teen's car. You may have even installed it. And now there's only one thing left to do—tell your teen.

True, your teenager probably won’t appreciate a tracking device on their car. They may even accuse you of spying on them.

However, there are ways you can approach it that will help your teen understand that a GPS tracker benefits the whole family:

  • Sell them on the benefits. Here's something your teens might appreciate: you won't need to constantly nag about letting you know where you are. With a GPS tracker, you'll always know their location.
  • Be morbidly honest. You can tell your teen straight up that a GPS tracker will help police find them if they're ever carjacked or kidnapped.
  • Make it a family affair. Encouraging safe driving habits isn't just for teenagers. By installing a tracker in every car in the household, your teen is less likely to feel singled out.

Some parents opt not to tell their young driver that they’re tracking their driving. Instead, they don’t mention it until they get a notification or see reports from the device that their teen is speeding too much or heading over to a friend’s house instead of the library. However, this kind of "gotcha!" moment can actually breed resentment by making your teen feel tricked.

Being upfront about the situation is the best way to communicate with your teen about it.

Mom Daughter Speaking on Couch
If you're thinking of installing a GPS tracker in your child's car, be upfront with them. Have a candid conversation with them and listen to their concerns as well.

The best device for tracking your teen

Ready to buy a GPS tracker for your teen? At first glance, the choices can be overwhelming. The best devices for tracking young drivers will include the obvious features like location and stats about your teen’s trips, including speed and driving habits.

So what’s the best choice? For the most helpful features and bang for your buck, Vivint Car Guard is the way to go.

Vivint Car Guard Port
The best choice when it comes to vehicle GPS trackers? Vivint Car Guard.

You can count on Vivint Car Guard

Recently named the 2019 “Connected Car OBD-II Solution of the Year” by IoT Breakthrough, Car Guard includes a wealth of features designed to integrate with your smart home and provide you with vehicle location tracking, tamper alerts, driving statistics, and car diagnostics.

Take a look at how the Vivint Car Guard can help you track your teen and encourage responsible driving.

GPS tracking and alerts

With GPS tracking and the in-app map, you'll always know where your teen's vehicle is, even if it's parked or turned off.

You can also set up alerts so you'll be notified on your smartphone when your teen leaves school, their job, or heads over to a friend's house. This helps ease the worry many parents of newly-licensed teens experience.

Man Checking Smartphone Notification
Whether your kid's car is parked or on the road, you can see exactly where it's located with Vivint Car Guard.

Trip details and statistics

Want to find out if your teen is driving safely? You can get a good idea with Car Guard by accessing trip details and statistics.

With this feature, you'll see details like the date and time the trip started, the route taken, rapid accelerations or harsh braking, max speed, and average speed. With this information, you can know for sure whether your teen is truly ready for the responsibility of driving.

Tamper alerts

It's late at night and you get a notification your teen's car has been bumped. You call your teen, only to find she is happily enjoying dinner with friends and unaware she parked in a tow zone. With tamper alerts, you'll know when your car has been bumped, towed, or stolen so you can take appropriate action.

Vivint Car Guard Crash
If your teen's car is ever bumped, towed, or stolen, you'll receive an instant notification thanks to your Vivint Car Guard.

Car diagnostics

Part of owning and driving a car is knowing how to take care of it. With Car Guard's diagnostics tool, you and your teen can monitor the health and performance of their vehicle.

You'll get reminders about routine maintenance and alerts for potentially serious mechanical issues. This not only helps remind you and your teen to stay on top of car maintenance, but also helps address potential issues and prevent more costly repairs down the road.

Smart home integration

Car Guard also integrates with a Vivint Smart Home system, so you can protect both your car and home from one single app. This way, there's no need for multiple systems to take care of your most valuable possessions.

Having your smart home and car tracking devices integrated also makes your life safer and more convenient.

For example, don't want your teen coming home to a dark house after their late night shift? You can set a geofence around your house that recognizes when your car approaches, and then automatically turns on the lights and unlocks the doors for them.

Vivint Smart Home Product Lineup
Another plus—Vivint Car Guard integrates seamlessly with the rest of your Vivint Smart Home system.

Experience peace of mind with Vivint Car Guard

While there's no app or device that will completely eliminate the worries parents face when their teen begins driving, Vivint Car Guard can provide you with priceless peace of mind and empower you with the information you need to ensure your teen is as safe as possible on the road.

To learn more about how Vivint Car Guard can help you monitor your teen's driving, contact one of our Smart Home Pros today at 855.822.1220.

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