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How Smart Devices Tattle On Teen Drivers


If you have been involved in an accident caused by a teen driver, a smart little device in their vehicle may be the key to understanding why the crash occurred.

This device is a GPS tracker with mobile alerts for unsafe driving behaviors and driving outside of a specified boundary. Parents often install trackers like Verizon’s Hum or MOTOsafety to monitor their teen’s driving history and real-time driving behaviors. These captured behaviors, such as speeding, harsh braking, or rapid acceleration could also provide legal evidence of wrongdoing in the event of an accident.

The unit plugs into a car’s OBD port and transmits data to a smartphone app for parental access on the go. Not only does it mean knowing your kid drove to school instead of the mall, but you may also be alerted when a violation of the law occurs.

These devices allow parents to set speed alerts for their teen driver. Parents indicate thresholds, or maximum speeds their teen is allowed to travel. Then, they get an alert or daily report containing the violation. Parents can also determine the their teen’s travelling boundaries, and be alerted when the teen drives beyond, or returns within, the boundaries set. The device would know if a teen got into an accident while driving at a speed higher than the limits within the parent-issued boundaries they did not breach.

The GPS system would also provide the vehicle’s precise location and travel direction. So, it could tell if the teen really was traveling westbound when they struck the other car. And, built-in motion sensors can detect if the driver was accelerating quickly or braking suddenly. These pieces of information may help support witness statements and any physical evidence discovered after an accident.

Some of these devices also provide drivers and parents with vehicle maintenance reminders. Maybe driving behaviors were not to blame in the accident, but preventative maintenance reminders were ignored and the vehicle wasn’t actually safe to operate. This could point to negligence on the part of the vehicle’s owner.

The reports and stored alerts on the parent’s cell phone or other mobile device may not be enough to settle disputes pertaining to accident liability, but it could provide supporting evidence of what likely took place. It would be highly beneficial in hit-and-run situations, especially if witness statements could corroborate the reported data.

These devices are meant to help teens improve their driving behaviors and hold them accountable to their parent’s vehicle-use rules. The parents are often the ones responsible for doling out consequences for violating laws and parent restrictions because they are typically the only ones seeing the reports and alerts. But, in the case of an accident, this information can be used to confirm location, speed, and direction of travel. It can also help determine if a driver was lying about how quickly they accelerated while passing a vehicle, or if they did hit the brakes before entering the intersection.

This technology is newer, but still rather beneficial for a variety of reasons. It remains to be seen how well the information obtained from these devices can be used in determining liability. Check with an attorney if you believe one of these devices was present at the time of your accident.

During his time as a public attorney for the State of Florida, Bernard Walsh developed a passion for defending the legal rights of Florida's citizens. Having seen many people being taken advantage of after being injured and the financial harm that can cause for families he committed himself fully to helping injured clients get justice, by fighting to make greedy insurance companies pay what they owe.

How Smart Devices Tattle On Teen Drivers

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh




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