New tech makes it easier to track, teach teen drivers

Posted at 6:34 AM, Aug 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-02 16:49:59-04

The month of August will usher in tens of thousands of new teen drivers across the United States. In fact, the CDC estimates 360,000 kids will turn 16 in the month of August.

With that in mind, driving experts are reminding everyone about safety on our roads. Automotive company Chevrolet is responding by offering three months of free OnStar Family Link.

Rich Martinek, with Chevrolet Connected Services, told 7 Action News that the service offers peace of mind, and lessens the anxiety of drivers and parents alike.

“Having them go off on their own, it’s a pretty anxious moment,” said Martinek, a parents himself. “It doesn’t go away.

“What we hear from families, is that Family Link actually gives peace of mind for everybody. If the parents are less anxious, they put less of that on the kids — and the kids are less anxious when they’re on the road.”

OnStar Family Link allows parents to stay connected to their teens no matter where their young drivers roam by providing access to teens’ vehicle locations. Parents can also set up email or text alerts to know when a vehicle has arrived and departed a destination or traveled outside a specific area.

“The day your children start driving is a dream come true for them, but it can be a nightmare for a concerned parent,” said Luciana Chamberlain, Family Link product marketing manager for Chevrolet. “OnStar Family Link can help minimize a parent’s anxiety by letting them know when their child has arrived at school, left a friend’s house or traveled outside of their comfort zone.”

Any vehicle that is a 2012 model Chevrolet or newer, with an active OnStar subscription can get the free three month offer by visiting Signup is simple, and you can quickly begin to setup alerts through

“We want to be able to give families these kind of tools and make sure it’s safer, and have peace of mind when their kids are on the road,” said Martinek.

Other products that can be used to influence safer driving are Chevrolet’s Teen Driver and Safe Driver programs.

Teen Driver allows parents to set radio volume limits, speed warnings, and even a governor-like option that won’t allow the vehicle to top 85 mph. It’s even capable of muting the radio until seatbelt are engaged. Teen Driver also allows the parents to recall a report card with a readout of distance driven, maximum speed reached, when antilock brakes were engaged and more.

OnStar Smart Driver helps teens develop better driving skills. It provides trip-by-trip report cards and even allows drivers to “compete” to see who is driving the most safely, pitting parents and teens against each other.