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Driving is a significant milestone in a young person’s life, but it can be a source of anxiety for parents. With the rise in distracted driving and other risky behaviors, it’s important for parents to keep tabs on their teen drivers to ensure their safety. Fortunately, technology has made monitoring teenagers easier than ever. In this article, we’ll explore three of the best apps to track your teen’s driving habits in 2023: Life360, Bouncie, and FamiSafe.

But first, here are some eye-opening teen driving statistics and their impact on auto insurance premiums.

Teen driving statistics

Teen driving, teen driver tracker GPS, tracking cars
A student driver at a BMW driving school for teens | Mark Peterson/Corbis via Getty Images

Before diving into the apps, it’s essential to understand the gravity of the issue. Data shows that teen drivers have higher accident rates, making them a cause for concern among parents and insurers alike. In fact, teenagers are three times likelier to be involved in a fatal crash than drivers aged 20 or older. These alarming statistics are not only a cause for worry but can also have a significant impact on insurance premiums, often resulting in substantially higher rates for families with teen drivers.

Now that we’ve highlighted the importance of monitoring teen driving habits, let’s explore three apps that can help parents optimize their teens’ car safety.

1. Life360: A family-centric tracking app

Life360 is a comprehensive family-tracking app with a range of features, including location tracking, driving analysis, and even crash detection. Here’s how to set up and use Life360:

  • Setup: Download the app on your smartphone, and create a family circle. Invite your teen (who also must have a smartphone) to join the circle. Once they accept, you’ll be able to track their location in real time.
  • Use: Life360’s driving analysis feature provides insights into your teen’s driving habits, such as speed, phone usage, and rapid acceleration or braking. You can set up alerts for specific behaviors and receive notifications when they occur.
  • Pros: Life360 offers a comprehensive suite of features for family tracking. It’s user-friendly and provides detailed driving reports. The crash detection feature can be a lifesaver in emergencies.
  • Cons: Some teens might find the constant tracking invasive, leading to potential privacy concerns. The app’s premium features can be costly. Tracking can lag when cell service or Wi-Fi is spotty.

2. Bouncie: An OBD-II tracking device

This app takes a different approach to teen tracking by using a plug-and-play OBD-II device that connects to your vehicle’s diagnostic port (typically located under the steering wheel). Here’s how Bouncie works:

  • Setup: Purchase the Bouncie device and plug it into your vehicle’s OBD-II port. Download the app and follow the on-screen instructions to set up your account.
  • Use: Bouncie provides real-time tracking, trip history, and detailed driving reports. You can monitor your teen’s driving behavior, receive alerts for speeding or harsh braking, and even get maintenance reminders for the vehicle.
  • Pros: Bouncie is easy to install, making it ideal for parents who want a hands-on approach to tracking. It offers comprehensive insights into driving habits and vehicle health.
  • Cons: Bouncie’s effectiveness relies on your teen not tampering with or removing the device. Some parents might find the hardware installation intimidating.

3. FamiSafe: An all-in-one parental control app

FamiSafe is an all-in-one parental control app that includes features for tracking teens’ driving habits. Here’s how to set up and use it:

  • Setup: Download and install the FamiSafe app on your phone and your teen’s device. Create an account, and follow the prompts to link the devices.
  • Use: FamiSafe offers real-time location tracking, driving reports, and geofencing (using GPS and cellular data to create a virtual perimeter that triggers specific actions when crossed). You can set up driving rules and receive alerts when your teen exceeds speed limits or enters restricted areas.
  • Pros: FamiSafe provides a comprehensive suite of parental control features beyond driver monitoring. It’s compatible with Android and iOS devices.
  • Cons: Some users might find FamiSafe’s interface less intuitive than other dedicated tracking apps. The full range of features requires a paid subscription.

Empowering safe teen driving with technology

In an age when teen driving safety is paramount, these three apps offer parents helpful tools to monitor and ensure their children’s well-being on the road. Life360 provides a comprehensive family-tracking solution, while Bouncie offers a hands-on approach with an OBD-II device. Meanwhile, FamiSafe combines driver monitoring with broader parental control features.

As a parent, the choice of which teen-tracking app to use depends on your needs and your teen’s willingness to accept tracking. Whichever you choose, the goal is the same: fostering responsible driving habits, keeping your teen safe, and mitigating the impact of high insurance premiums associated with inexperienced drivers.

Remember, though these apps are valuable tools for monitoring teen driving, they should be used in conjunction with open communication and responsible parenting to ensure your child becomes a safe and responsible driver.