As parents, we do all that we can to make sure our kids are safe. That job is a little easier when you have control over where your kids go and what they do. But the day your teen passes the road test and gets her license, you lose most of that control.
It's natural for parents to want to hold on to some of that control. GPS trackers are one way to do that, but are they a good idea?
What Do GPS Trackers Do?
GPS trackers are exactly what they sound like – devices that keep track of a vehicle's location. In addition to location, these devices can also log the speed of the vehicle.
Most devices allow you to log into a website to view reports of the tracker's past activity. You may also be able to see the data in real-time to see where the vehicle is at any given moment in time.
Users can also set up thresholds for speed, so if the vehicle surpasses that speed, it will send a text or email alert. Some tracking systems also allow users to set up location boundaries and send out alerts when the vehicle moves outside of the boundaries.
For example, you may only allow your teen to drive to school and back home. If your teen decided to go across town to the mall, it would send out an alert that the vehicle has moved outside of the permitted area.
Why Would Parents Want to Install a GPS Tracker?
There are many reasons parents install GPS trackers on their teens' vehicles, and in most cases, the goal is not to spy on their kids.
Most parents just want their teens to be safe.
Trackers allow parents to see:
Where they are driving
Parents who are worried about their teens driving too fast can use a tracker to monitor driving speeds. Ground rules can be set for driving speeds, and if the teen breaks those rules, the keys can be taken away.
Of course, parents may also want to know where their teens are after school or on the weekends. Trackers can be helpful if parents are having trouble with their teens not coming home on time, skipping school, or sneaking off to places they aren't supposed to go.
Parents may also want the peace of mind in knowing that they can find out where their teen's vehicle is at all times. If parents fear their teen is missing, a tracker can help at least find the location of the vehicle.
.Some parents may want to install a tracker because it also offers anti-theft benefits and discounts on insurance premiums.
"Some parents may want to install a tracker because it also offers anti-theft benefits and discounts on insurance premiums," says GoodtoGoInsurance.
The Concerns of Using a GPS Tracker
It's easy to see why parents would want to use a GPS tracker, but is it a good idea?
Some parents argue that GPS trackers:
Demonstrate lack of trust
Invade the teen's privacy
May be considered spying
There are two schools of thought here: one that believes trackers are crossing the invasion of privacy line, and another that believes teens are not entitled to privacy until they reach adulthood.
Ultimately, it is up to you to determine whether a GPS tracker is the right choice for your teen's vehicle. Weigh the advantages and concerns to make a decision you can feel good about.