National Survey of Parents` and Teens` Driving Concerns Show Technology May Be the Answer

NEW YORK–Along with so many other things in contemporary life, the answer to the classic question, “Can I borrow the car, Dad?” may be redefined by the technology revolution.

A new national survey of teen driving issues conducted on an independent basis on behalf of Personal GPS Locator company Zoombak™ (www.Zoombak.com) by StrategyOne, a leading market research firm, shows that parents and teenagers have widely divergent reactions once the teens obtain their driver’s licenses:

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More than eight in ten teenagers (83%) feel happy about the event, compared to just over three in ten of their parents (32%).
Moreover, nearly six in ten parents (57%) are worried about the safety of their teen, while only one in ten teens are thinking about his or her own safety.

Key to helping parents overcome their concerns is knowing where their teens are. Nearly two-thirds (64%) worry about the whereabouts of their teens once they’re out on the road. Teenagers, for their part, understand the concern; 79% say that their parents worry about them when they drive. However, two-thirds of all teen drivers agree with the statement, “I wish there were a way to get my parents to trust me more” when they’re behind the wheel.

In order for parents to feel more comfortable as their teens head out on their own in an automobile, more than four out of five (81%) ask their teenagers to keep them informed of their whereabouts, e.g., by checking in by phone when they arrive at their destination. They also insist on practice driving with parents in the car (59%), curfews (53%) and passenger limits (51%).

Only 17% of all parents currently use technology to monitor the vehicle their teen is driving. What many don’t realize, however, is that affordable GPS devices are available that can instantly tell them where their vehicles are, whether they’ve left a pre-defined geographic area, that they’ve arrived safely at a destination, even what route the vehicle has travelled over the past 60 minutes. Such technology may, in fact, satisfy new teen drivers’ number one wish for their parents—“Give me more freedom” (53%)—by allowing them to earn their parents’ confidence.

Unlimited On-Demand GPS Device

“Zoombak is in the business of helping individuals and families take advantage of the power of global positioning technology to improve their lives,” said Simon Buckingham, CEO of Zoombak, the U.S. market leader in personal locator products. “GPS is both accurate and suitable for a huge array of uses—including building trust between teen drivers and their parents.”

When placed in a vehicle, Zoombak’s automobile tracking product, the Advanced GPS Car & Family Locator, can provide on-demand information about a vehicle’s whereabouts. By logging in to Zoombak’s password-protected Web site, for example, real-time location data can be displayed on a map, along with the closest street address. Similar information can be delivered via text message to a parent’s cell phone.

Other ways of monitoring vehicle movement are also available via the Zoombak locator. Personalized “safety zones” can be established around ten different locations; when the car enters or leaves an active zone, parents can be instantly alerted via email or text message with location information. Safety zones can be active simultaneously or in any combination, and can be scheduled for 24/7 use or “turned on” or “turned off” during certain hours of day or night.

Zoombak’s GPS locator can be hardwired to a car’s battery using a separate install kit, and also comes with a car charger. When used portably the unit has a battery life of up to five days.

The StrategyOne nationwide study of 300 new teen drivers and parents of new teen drivers entitled “Teen Drivers and Parents: Where Are The Road Bumps?” was conducted online in July, 2008. Teens were 16-17 years of age with driving licenses or permits, and adults were screened for parents of teens 16-17 years of age with driving licenses or permits. Equal numbers of females and males were obtained for both segments, and reflected U.S. census statistics for ethnicity, region and education.

About Zoombak:

Zoombak LLC, develops and markets advanced products and technologies that keep people connected to the people and things that really matter. Zoombak’s compact, assisted (A-GPS) locator system employs satellite-enabled GPS and a location network server to track teen and senior drivers, recover stolen vehicles, and find lost pets, among other purposes. A U.S.-based company, Zoombak is a privately held subsidiary of Liberty Media, which owns a broad range of electronic retailing, media, communications and entertainment businesses. For more information, please see http://www.zoombak.com or http://www.libertymedia.com.

Source: http://www.theautochannel.com

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