Ford's new MyKey designed to modify bad teen driving behavior
The dangers of texting or operating other digital devices behind the wheel are known to be as deadly serious as driving drunk, Recent studies have revealed most accidents involving teen drivers occur in the first month or during their first year of unsupervised driving. The new Ford MyKey Do Not Disturb feature will let harried parents breathe just a little easier.
This new Ford MyKey Do Not Disturb blocks incoming phone calls or text messages from a Bluetooth mobile phone, routing calls into voicemail and saving text messages for later viewing. But unlike shutting off the phone, drivers can still make voice-activated outgoing phone calls and the SYNC 911 Assist feature can make an emergency call if needed.
"Adding Do Not Disturb to MyKey is yet another way Ford is helping parents to encourage their kids to drive safer," said Andy Sarkisian, Ford Safety Planning and Strategy manager. "We are continually listening to our customers and responding to parents' desire to make sure their kids are paying attention to the road, not their cell phone."
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), notes teens are risk takers thus more likely to speed – a factor contributing to 30 percent of all fatal crashes involving teens, who unfortunately are less likely to wear safety belts too.
Can you remember how invincible 19 felt? You really believed you could do almost anything didn’t you?
The U.S. Department of Transportation has conducted large-scale, long-duration, driving research helping us to better understand driver distraction and its consequences. Multiple studies repeatedly find simply not looking where you’re going is the primary cause of most crash and near-crash incidents.
Ford was among the first to support a federal ban and state-level legislation banning hand-held texting while driving simply because you can’t text and operate a vehicle at the same time. The SYNC voice system reduces the risk of distractions, allowing drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road even when they decide they can safely do other things.
Novice teen drivers are on a steep learning curve, lacking the skill levels needed to control the vehicle, detect hazards and accurately assess situations. The MyKey Do Not Disturb feature is an option parents can use to set limits on their teen’s driving in order to engender a focus on safe driving skills and habits.
The MyKey system allows parents to program any key through the vehicle message center. Along with the added Do Not Disturb feature, MyKey features include limiting top speed, enforcing No seatbelts, No tunes muting the audio system until kids buckle up, blocking adult satellite radio programming, limiting stereo volume to 44 percent of maximum, disallowing traction control deactivation, enabling a chime alert at designated speeds and a low-fuel warning at 75 miles until empty.
"Our dealers tell us that when they have a buyer with kids in the house and they mention the MyKey feature, every single one of them says, 'How do I turn that on?' Customers are very happy with the feature," Sarkisian concluded.