New Key Technology Puts Brakes On Teen Drivers

  • Parents can block teens from phone calls
  • Do Not Disturb feature controlled by parents
  • Keeps speeds down

Car manufacturer Ford is adding a feature to its MyKey technology to block incoming phone calls and deter text messages while teenagers are behind the wheel.

The Do Not Disturb feature, which is available on all 2011 vehicles featuring SYNC with MyFord Touch, will now be available as a feature parents can control through MyKey beginning with the new Explorer in early 2012.

When hooked up to SYNC, this new feature blocks incoming phone calls or text messages from a Bluetooth-paired mobile phone, diverting calls into voicemail and saving text messages on the device for viewing later. Unlike turning the phone off, drivers can still make voice-activated outgoing phone calls and the SYNC 911 Assist feature can make a call in case of emergency.

Distracted driving is of particular concern as it relates to young, inexperienced drivers, and the Do Not Disturb feature helps parents control another accident risk factor when their child gets behind the wheel, claims Ford.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), teens are more likely to take risks such as speeding – a contributing factor in 30 percent of all fatal crashes. Teens also are less likely to wear safety belts than older drivers.

The MyKey system allows parents to program any key through the vehicle message centre. Along with the added Do Not Disturb feature, MyKey features include:

  • A top speed of 65,70,75or 80 kph
  • "No belts, no tunes” feature that mutes audio system until front occupants buckle up
  • The ability to block satellite radio channels carrying adult programming
  • Volume control that can limit the audio system to 44 percent of maximum output
  • Traction control system cannot be deactivated
  • A speed chime alert at 45, 55 or 65 kph
  • Early low-fuel warning beginning at 75 miles until empty

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