MassDOT’s RMV Division today announced the launch of an extension to its Parent’s Supervised Driving Program, a new mobile app titled RoadReadyTM. The app, sponsored by Ford Motor Company and Safety Insurance, is designed to augment the award-winning program in its mission to prevent one of the major causes of death and injury for teens on the road. RoadReady’s availability in the App StoreSM comes just in time for National Teen Driver Safety Week, October 20-26, with this year’s focus, “It Takes Two: Shared Expectations for Teens and Parents for Driving.”
“We are proud to be recognizing National Teen Driver Safety Week and to be arming parents and teens with a technologically-advanced, free toolkit to encourage their participation in the teen driver education process,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey. “Not only are we providing parents of permitted teens with a guide to assist them through the state required 40 hours of supervised driving, but this new mobile app RoadReady will help parents to track the actual time they spent behind the wheel with their teen.”
The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program printed guide first became available to parents and teens at Massachusetts RMV branches in January 2012. The new RoadReady app supplements the program, offering parents and teens an easy, compelling means to track their driving experience together. The app is currently available on the App Store and will be made available to Android users in the new year at no charge thanks to support from Ford Motor Company and Safety Insurance, both companies who have demonstrated an avid commitment to teen driver safety.
“The skills outlined in this guide and app are meant to help teens learn to be better drivers. It is one of the ways Ford works to help teens,” said Steve Kenner, Global Director of Ford’s Automotive Safety Office. “In addition to this program, Ford also offers Driving Skills for Life, which gives teens advanced real world training. Ford also offers MyKey technology, which gives parents options to help encourage safe driving behaviors even when the parents aren’t in the car.”
“Nationwide, 43 percent of first-year drivers are involved in car crashes,” noted George Murphy, Vice President of Marketing with Safety Insurance. “Safety’s priority remains keeping Massachusetts’ roads safe for all drivers and aspires to make the transition for parents of young drivers easier with innovative ideas like the RoadReady app.”
Studies show that parents have a tendency to overestimate the amount of time they spend with their teen driving and that the more time parents spend with their teen, the safer the teen is when they drive independently. RoadReady eliminates the question of overestimated time and allows parents and teens to focus on driving skills, roadway conditions and enhanced experiences, while the app automatically and accurately tracks their time together.
“As parents and teens work together through the licensing process, we see The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program and its mobile app component as useful tools to ensuring our young drivers are getting the experience that they need to become RoadReady,” said Registrar of Motor Vehicles Rachel Kaprielian.
The app is used by the parent in the passenger seat. It is designed to be a non-distracting element, not to be looked at, referenced, manipulated at any point by the driver, or while driving. Beyond the educational features highlighted throughout RoadReady, such as the “Parental Pointers,” tips and suggestions to assist parents throughout the supervised driving process, the app tracks roadway types and weather conditions to encourage parents and teens to spend more time driving together in a variety of conditions. At any time throughout the supervised driving process, parents and teens can also export a printable driving log with a list of all of their supervised driving sessions. RoadReady users may opt to share their drives with friends and family on their social networks to spread the word of their safe driving habits.
“We are excited about the RoadReady addition to our state–of–the art program,” stated Jeff Larson, President of Safe Roads Alliance, who worked in partnership with the Massachusetts RMV to develop the program for the state. “We are continuously working to improve parents and teens supervised driving experiences and think RoadReady is an invaluable step in the right direction.”
The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program focuses on the role of the parent in the teen driver education process. The program offers an enhanced supervised driving experience and even encourages parents and guardians to extend the supervised driving period beyond the state requirement. The program is available to parents and teens on multiple platforms, beginning with the printed curriculum that is distributed at RMV branches when the teen receives their learner’s permit.
For media resources on the program, visit www.theparentssuperviseddrivingprogram.com/media
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