We all have heard about the horror stories and a growing number of us have been touched by this growing nightmare personally…distracted driving. How many times per day do you see someone next to you talking on the cell phone or sending a text? After so many people have died, it is unbelievable that so many people still find it to be okay to do so. This is especially rampant among our teenagers. In response to this, a new app called “The Canary Project” has been released. Simply call it Big Brother for parents of teen drivers as it pretty much keeps tabs on what they do and where they go. Is this the way to go to truly make a difference? Let’s look at the good and bad:
What does Canary do?
Essentially it can tell the parents when the child is using the phone while driving. It might be that the child is texting or talking on the phone. If the child’s phone is unlocked and in use while a vehicle is going more than 12 mph, the parents will get a notification. It also can tell the parents where a teen might be in a given time period or if they go outside of certain parameters that are set by the parents geographically.
Why Canary might be a bad idea
The only people who would really be against this idea would be the teens themselves. On the surface it feels like a device that invades privacy. It tells parents when and where, but very little of the what. This means that kids will struggle to break curfew or go outside of certain boundaries without having to answer for it. Teens will no doubt be against such parental vision, but what rules and regulations are welcomed by teens?
Why Canary could be a great idea
Canary is great when it comes to keeping tabs on where your kid goes. Of course, the app is only good as long as the teen has the phone on them. They easily could leave it behind and go somewhere off limits without your knowledge. That, of course, could be offset by calling regularly. Canary is also good for letting parents know when the kids are not doing the right thing behind the wheel. The kids privacy is not really being invaded because the app does not tell the parents details. The app only says that the phone was active when it should not have been. This gives the parents the opportunity to correct mistakes and hopefully prevent yet another future tragedy.
The best way to use this app is in the form of a pledge. Sit down with your teen and explain to her that you want to keep her safe. Explain to her what this app will and won’t do. Make it clear that you are simply making her accountable for her actions. If you pledge together to not text and drive, then you also could install the app. That way, you could keep tabs on each other and your actions.