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Thursday, November 8, 2018

The Best Tools To Help Your Teen Drive Safely

Teenagers are bad drivers. Sorry, kids, it’s just how it is: insurance company GEICO says one in five 16-year-old teen drivers will end up in a fender bender. Here are the best tools to keep your new driver safe.

Naturally, the best way to keep a new driver safe is to give them as much pre-license training as possible, hammering in safe driving habits before they get on the road alone. But if you’d like to add a little more insurance (in the purely figurative sense, you’ll also need some literal insurance), you can kit out your car with some safety-focused tools.

In addition to all the specific tools below, you might want to check out our more general auto safety guide, which can benefit drivers of any age. We’d also recommend a dedicated GPS unit, which can help teen drivers get around without the distracting alerts of Google Maps on a smartphone.

To Erase Blind Spots: A Wide-Angle Rearview Mirror ($11)

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Dealing with the reality of a car’s blind spots are one of the biggest hurdles for a new driver. You can make those spots a lot more visible with a replacement rearview mirror, offering a wider field of view that can peek through both rear side windows at the same time.

The perspective on these wide-angle mirrors takes a bit of getting used to since they make the cars immediately behind yours seem closer—but that will only make the driver more aware of that proximity. The model we’ve selected is cheap and easy to use—just clamp it over your existing rear-view mirror with the spring-loaded tongs. I’ve been using the same one for years.

To Squelch the Temptation To Text: A Faraday Phone Bag ($23)

faraday, signal blocker, blocker bag, black bag, phone bag, safety

A Faraday cage is an enclosure that blocks all wireless signals from going in or out. It seems hi-tech but it’s really just a wire-mesh with the mesh spacing tuned to block different electromagnetic waves. There are plenty of apps and services that attempt to stop you from being distracted by your phone on the road, but for drivers who are still developing their road awareness skills, we recommend this phone bag with built-in RF-absorbing material—a little Faraday cage you can stick in your center console, if you will.

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