Weast, Rebecca A.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
New teen drivers experience elevated levels of risk behind the wheel, especially during their first few months of independent driving. Auto manufacturers have developed teen parental monitoring and control systems, and they have been appearing across the fleet since 2009. One such system developed by Ford, called MyKey, allows parents to engage their vehicle’s safety features, limit speed and audio volume, and trigger additional alerts when their teen uses a programmed key.Method:
The current study comprises a survey of parents of driving-age teens, who also own MyKey-equipped vehicles, to understand whether parents know about their car’s features, whether they use them, and from where they got their information.Results:
While over half of MyKey-owning parents are aware of the system, only a third report using the features with their teen driver. Users most frequently report engaging the speed-limiting and speed-reminder functions, along with the audio volume limiter. Nonusers cite their teen’s trustworthiness, or that their teen does not drive their MyKey vehicle. Parents are more likely to know about MyKey if they purchased from a dealer, rather than a private individual.Conclusions:
MyKey use is not as prevalent among parents and owners as it could be, limiting its possible positive impact. Salespeople and other dealership staff are in a position to encourage use in future owners.
Practical applications: A deeper understanding of how families use specific parental monitoring technologies will inform their continued development, marketing, and adoption across the fleet.