Yesterday I received a link from reader Dick Krohn about what Ford Motor Company calls MyKey System. I read what Ford is offering for consumers to help a teenage driver to drive safer and provide a parent with a peace of mind when their teen takes out the family chariot. According to the article, Ford hopes to provide a safer driving experience by helping the teen to buckle up, be more fuel efficient and most importantly to drive safer.
Here is what Ford says about the MyKey System:
Ford’s MyKey feature – which this summer as standard equipment on the 2010 Ford Focus and will quickly become standard on many other Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models – allows owners to program a key that can limit the vehicle’s top speed and audio volume. MyKey also encourages safety-belt usage, provides earlier low-fuel warnings and can be programmed to sound chimes at 45, 55 and 65 miles per hour.
“Ford not only offers industry-leading crash protection and crash avoidance systems, we also are committed to developing new technologies such as MyKey that encourage safer driving behavior,” said Susan Cischke, Ford group vice president of Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering. “MyKey can help promote safer driving, particularly among teens, by encouraging seat belt use, limiting speed and reducing distractions.”
MyKey is appealing to parents of teen drivers, including 75 percent who like the speed-limiting feature, 72 percent who like the more insistent safety-belt reminder, and 63 percent who like the audio limit feature, according to a recent Harris Interactive Survey conducted for Ford.
About 50 percent of those who would consider purchasing MyKey also said they would allow their children to use the family vehicle more often if it were equipped with the new technology. The added seat time can help teens build their driving skills in a more controlled setting, complementing graduated licensing laws that give young drivers more driving freedom as they get older.
More than half of parents surveyed worry that their teen-age children are driving at unsafe speeds, talking on hand-held cell phones or texting while driving, or otherwise driving distracted. More than a third of parents also are concerned that their teens do not always buckle their safety belts when driving.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), teens are more likely to take risks such as speeding – a contributing factor in 30 percent of all fatal crashes. Teens also are less likely to wear safety belts than older drivers.
The MyKey System can be programmed to mute the audio system until the seat belt in fastened. In addition the system will provide the teen with earlier low-fuel warnings and in preventing the Traction Control System from being deactivated. The system can also be programmed to limit the maximum speed of the vehicle to 80 mph and set speed alert chimes at 45, 55 or 65 mph.
One can only hope that other vehicle companies offer similar packages to help prevent erratic driving by teens and to provide their parents with a feeling of confidence when they hand over the keys to their new Ford.
Thanks, Dick, for this valuable information.