Limits on teen drivers possible with Ford system

This article is not an endorsement of Ford vehicles but rather an example of how technology can be used to place certain limits on teen drivers. Some vehicles come equipped with systems that allow parents to monitor their child’s driving or control things like top vehicle speed and sound system volume. A new Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) survey shows one such system, Ford’s MyKey, is catching on, as described in an article in the November issue of “Status Report”. However, more than a third of respondents said they didn’t know their vehicle had the system.

Of the parents who used MyKey, most said they had learned about it at the dealership. Previous research has shown that many salespeople have limited knowledge about safety features on the vehicles they sell. That may explain why such a large percentage of vehicle owners weren’t aware of the system.

“Systems like MyKey have the potential to reduce the risks faced by teen drivers by limiting speeds and distractions,” says Rebecca Weast, an IIHS research scientist and the paper’s author. “To do the most good, more consumers need to be aware of it and choose to activate it for their young driver.”

MyKey allows vehicle owners to program a key for their child. For example, the owner can set the top vehicle speed, program speed alerts at varying levels, limit audio volume and make it impossible to disable the do-not-disturb feature.

The available MyKey feature allows you to configure one or more of your Ford keys to control your vehicle’s safety settings, even when you aren’t behind the wheel.

Configurable settings

You can set a vehicle speed limit. When the MyKey driver reaches the set speed, the display will show warnings, followed by an audible tone. The driver will not be able to override the set speed by fully depressing the accelerator pedal or by using cruise control.

You can also set various vehicle speed minders so that when the MyKey driver exceeds your preselected speed, the speed will be shown in the display followed by an audible tone.

The audio system can be set to a maximum volume of 45%. When the MyKey driver attempts to exceed the volume limit, a message will show in the display. The speed-sensitive or speed-compensated automatic volume control will also be disabled.

You can enable the “always on” setting for Advance Trac or traction control, 911 Assist or Emergency Assist, or the do not disturb feature, if your vehicle is equipped with these features. When always on is enabled for these features, the MyKey driver will be unable to switch them off.

You can view information on programmed MyKey(s) by using the information display controls on the steering wheel, like tracking the distance travelled when drivers are using a MyKey and the number of MyKeys programmed to your vehicle.

Placing limits on new teen drivers may not be for everyone, but it sure can be viewed as a tool to control some of the normal teen driver mistakes. Check it out!

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