US & World

Auto Club unveils tracking device to help parents control teens’ driving

A teenager in a driving simulator during a driver's education class.
A teenager in a driving simulator during a driver's education class.

Listen to story

Download this story 0.0MB

The Auto Club has unveiled a new tool to help parents control their teenagers’ driving habits. But is it one step closer to Big Brother?

It’s called AAA Onboard, and the Auto Club is offering it free to their car insurance customers.

The small device, about the size of a printer cartridge, is made to plug into a teen's car. It will monitor how your teen drives, where he or she goes and it will tell you, chapter and verse, what that vehicle is doing.

What’s more, you can go online and program limits and restrictions that the system will monitor. You’ll get a text message if your teen breaks the rules.

“Worried about speeding?" says a video on the company's website. "You can set a maximum speed limit that notifies you when your teenager exceeds it. Worried about when they’re driving? You can use the curfew settings to establish times so that you’re notified when your teen is allowed to drive the car, and when they’re not.”

As you might expect, some critics are calling this an invasion of privacy.

But the Auto Club points out that the accident rate for teen drivers is higher than for any other age group (accidents are also the leading cause of death for people between 16 and 20).

They claim that the tracker is simply a way to give parents the information they need, to have a serious conversation with their teens and maybe to save a few lives.