New way for parents to 'back-seat drive'

By Morgan Chesky - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Car accidents are the leading cause of death for 16 to 20-year-olds. And, Ford is trying to change that with it's new vehicle safety system My-Key. The safety isn't in the car, but two sets of keys...whether they like it or not.

Setup is easy. Insert the parent key in the ignition to pick and choose My-Key's limitations. Owners can set max speed at 80, add a warning tone at 45, 55, or 65 miles per hour and even set a volume limit. And, you don't have to worry about teens not hearing the warnings. My-Key also lowers the radio volume to 45%, which is still loud enough to hear your favorite music, but quiet enough to be alert on the road and speakers go silent if you aren't buckled up. When your teen hits the highway, a tone reminds them they're picking up speed.

"I think it's a good idea," said defensive driving instructor, Ken Pontious, who has seen the errors of young drivers, in the classroom and as a policeman in California.

"Young people, by in large, are pretty good drivers," said Pontious. "However, they do not have the experience that older drivers have."

Pontious says My-Key can cut down on driver distraction, but still can't take the wheel.

"I don't think they're ever going to come up with a perfectly safe car," said Pontious. "I don't think that's possible, but anything they can do to cut down on it is a good thing."

My-key is giving parents a chance to chime in on their teen's driving habits without being a backseat driver. The My-Key feature is currently available on 12 Ford 2010 models. The company says it plans to make it available on all its vehicles in the near future.

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