For those parents worried about handing over the car keys to their teenage son or daughter, there's a new system designed to monitor and assist young drivers. Teen Driver, which will be offered in the new 2016 Chevy Malibu, will allow parents to see how their teen did behind the wheel, including how far they drove and the number of times the car's active safety features were engaged. "We developed this system so parents could use it as a teaching tool with their kids. They can discuss and reinforce safe driving habits," General Motors safety engineer MaryAnn Beebe said in a news release. Though some teenagers are likely to view the technology as an invasion of privacy, like other systems offered in the auto industry, Teen Driver is geared toward helping the most inexperienced drivers make better choices behind the wheel.
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One of the system's features automatically mutes the Malibu's radio until front-seat riders buckle their seat belts. Parents can also select a maximum speed, and if the driver goes too fast, it will set off warning flashes on the instrument panel and cause an audible chime to kick in.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the fatal crash rate per mile driven for people between ages 16 and 19 is nearly three times the rate for those 20 and older. The new Malibu is expected in showrooms at the end of the year.