Ford Motor Company Does Have Better Ideas – Help Teens To Drive Safer

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.

Comments welcome.

Source – Ford

Is Sexting A Real Problem Or Just Kids Being Kids?

Depending on who’s statistics you wish to cite, it appears that teens between the ages of 12 and 17 years old, about 15 to 30% have viewed nude photo’s in text messages. Though we can most likely all agree that this poses certain risks to some teens who pictures may be sent around the Internet, the question I would ask is that is this a real problem or just kids being kids?

According to a recent news article it states the following:

It’s not a surprising phenomenon, Ms. Lenhart and others say: The factors driving it – teenagers wrestling with sexuality and relationships and often using poor judgment – have been around far longer than cellphones or the Internet. But when those factors are combined with the far reach and permanence of today’s technology, it can be dangerous.

At least two teenagers committed suicide after sexts they sent were passed around widely and used to harass them. While those are the extreme, far more teens face risks of basic embarrassment, bullying, or regret when the images reach people who they’d prefer didn’t see them.

So as a parent what would you tell your child about sexting? This quote may help:

“I tell kids the five P’s,” Ms. Aftab says. “If you don’t want your parents, your principal, a predator, the police, or your potential coach, college recruiter, or boss to see it, don’t post it publicly.”

There is also this point that shows why teens are sexting:

Often, teens send sexts as an alternative to engaging in actual sex, Aftab says, and they rarely think about the consequences.

So what do you think? Is sexting as dangerous as some believe it is, or is it just kids doing what kids do?

Comments welcome.


Tweetless Teens Totally Twueless

There should be an image here!I guess if we say it enough it will come true. According to this recent post over at Mashable, teens don’t really use Twitter all that much. And while I am not in a position to say yes or no to this, I think there is likely some truth to this. Think about it. Kids today need to fill their vacuum packed brains with as much crap as possible.

Clearly, Facebook and Myspace have plenty of idiotic games and quizzes available to ensure that kids will never need subject themselves to the outside world. Because Twitter requires a bit more interaction that Myspace and Facebook talking “at each other”, many teens just are not seeing the appeal.

As for the assertion that teens are twitter shy and what will this mean to Twitter’s future, it means nothing. As they grow up, chances are pretty good they will realize just how useless the other social platforms really are. FriendFeed, sure. But Facebook and Myspace are just excuses to bother me as far as I am concerned.