DrivingMBA has just turned over it’s fleet of student driver vehicles. We now have Ford Fusions, Honda Civics and one Malibu. Both the Fusions and the Civics are equipped with back-up cameras which presents us with an opportunity to teach students how to properly use back-up cameras. In the parent class I emphasize that the technology in our vehicles is there to assist us, and unfortunately too many people are relying solely on the technology to do the necessary scanning of the environment and decision making. Back up cameras are a prime example. Back up cameras are a GREAT tool and they do save lives, however, too many people rely solely on the information they get by looking directly at the screen vs.turning to look behind and around them to capture information the camera may not be able to pick up. Blind spot monitors or even the blind spot mirrors are good tools to use in checking your blindspot, but turning and taking a quick look through the side back windows will pick up information the mirror may not be able to pick up. The following article ” Vehicle Owners’ Experiences with and Reactions to Advanced Driver Assistance Systems” talks about the fact that some drivers misuse or overly rely on the technology.
Parents, as you are working with your teens, rely less on the technology and more on teaching your student how to look behind them, check their blindspot, maintain their speed, park their vehicle, etc. Also, put the navigation systems away. Buy a map of the state and city and help your children with spatial reasoning and understanding how to navigate without the use of technology. Have them identify where their destination is located and a route to get there without the use of technology. Once they have started to develop navigation skills, then introduce navigation systems. If they are using their phone, it should be on a mount and programmed to where they are going even before they start their vehicle.