Don’t Waste Your Money: Keep tabs on your teen driver

Car accidents are the number one cause of death for teenagers. Teens are inexperienced drivers, and they tend to speed. Consumer Reports has tested three devices that you install in the car to keep tabs on your teenage driver.

There’s MotoSafety, $80; Mastrack, $100; and MobiCoPilot, $150. They are easy to install in the diagnostic port under the dashboard. And you’ll pay $15 to $20 per month for driving reports. The devices alert you if your teen is speeding, slamming on the brakes, or really gunning the car. You can have the alerts sent to you via text or e-mail, or view driving reports on the device’s website. You can also see the vehicle’s location and the route. All of the devices worked well. And Consumer Reports says not to think of those devices as spying on your teen, but coaching them to be a better driver.

The least expensive is the MotoSafety. It’s enough for simple tracking, and it allows you to set top speeds for highways and secondary roads. If you pay more for the Mastrack or MobiCoPilot tracking systems, you get some extras, such as notifications if the car is turned on or off so that you know when your teen arrives.