Straight Talk’s Safe Driver Car Connection and National Teen Driver Safety Week

by | Oct 22, 2014 | Parenting/Family, Sponsored, Video

This post is brought to you by a partnership between Straight Talk and yours truly. All opinion and experience with Straight Talk Safe Driver Car Connection and the Safe Driver event are my own.

Last week, I had the opportunity to visit Atlanta for a hot minute. Straight Talk and Driver’s Edge partnered together to host the Safe Driver Initiative event.

What was the point of the event? It was all about helping teen drivers learn how to be SAFE teen drivers. As it is National Teen Driver Safety Week… talk about perfect timing!

In case y’all missed it, I have a teen driver.


I am the mother of a teen driver

We want all teens driving safely EVERY week, but this week is a time to highlight the issue and open up conversations between teen drivers and their parents about ways to stay safe on the road.

While at the event I was shown Straight Talk’s Safe Driver Car Connection in action. The Safe Driver Car Connection is a clever and valuable device that, in my opinion, is a crazy positive invention that has great potential on increasing safety for teens on the road.

While at the event I spent close to 45 minutes talking to Scott Harrington, former Indy 500 race car driver who is now an instructor for Driver’s Edge. We talked safety, teens, Safe Driver Car Connection, and we raced around cones while I got to test my distracted driving skills with him in the passenger seat.

Poor guy. From the Indy 500 to… MY passenger seat.

He was great and I left hoping I will be able to enroll my son in a Driver’s Edge course sooner than later. The instructors are clearly knowledgeable. I had the opportunity to talk to a mother who had a daughter go through their course. She shared with me the impact the course had on her daughter and what an outstanding job the instructors did to keep the teens engaged.

That is a huge task.

At the event, on a controlled course, I was allowed behind the wheel –one hand on the wheel and one hand on my phone. Which is a clear no-no on the street. I was told to hit the accelerator and start texting. Despite having practiced the course once, I ended up going off the course, which could have been the equivalent of going off the road – if not a cliff.

This is the text I ended up sending:

ttext of death and bad grammar

After my drive, I got to see what the Safe Driver Car Connection had to say about my performance.

Parents. The Safe Driver Car Connection looks to be quite the awesome advocate in helping keep our new drivers safe. One point I love – it disables the driver’s phone from texting and/or receiving calls…. instead it sends a message that the driver is unavailable, thus eliminating temptation for the teen. You can check out a demo here.

Furthermore, the SDCC sends a report, with a drive grade.

Grades aren’t just for school anymore, y’all!

The report tells if there were hard stops and speeding, among other information. It sends alerts if your child… I mean YOUNG ADULT has driven outside of a set path… say, a side trip to a gas station or a forbidden party. With the ability to track the car’s location, you will know that your young driver is where he/she is supposed to be, thus eliminating a very common phone call or text query, “Where are you?”

That’s a nice chunk of peace of mind.

The device also tracks fuel economy. Have you ever wondered exactly HOW much it costs to drive from point A to Point B? This device tells you that too.

While at the event, I got to spend time talking with Jeff Payne, Founder of Driver’s Edge. Driver’s Edge is a non-profit organization and public charity that teaches drivers 21 and under what’s not being taught in traditional driver’s education. Their mission is to help save lives with their unique and innovative behind the wheel program. Definitely check them out and definitely check out my interview with Jeff where he shares 3 of his top safety tips for parents of teen drivers, and shares what he loves most about Straight Talk’s Safe Driver Car Connection.

In conjunction communication with your teen, the Safe Driver Car Connection can become a wonderful learning tool for your new driver. “What happened at this stop?” “You seem to take this corner hard fairly often… How do you think you could avoid taking such a hard turn at that corner next time?” The report gives specifics you would never know without being there. The report creates opportunity to improve.

And driving improvement means greater safety on the road.

The goal is not to police our teen drivers, but engage them and help them learn what works, what doesn’t work, and most important: keep them safe and alive. This device offers so many points of information that can be used to help guide and teach our teens to operate vehicles with greater safely. And if you aren’t aware of the statistic: motor vehicle crashes remain the number one killer of teenagers ages 15 to 20, even though underage drinking and drunk driving among teens is down across the nation.

Driving is a big privilege that comes with big, big risks. While these young adults are still ours now is a great opportunity for parents to help give our teens a great chance for success on the road.

My son does not have his license yet. We are still in that permit stage. It is important that right now we are talking, talking, talking about the what-ifs. When he is driving I am focusing on him and take the opportunities to explain beyond the obvious. However, that interaction does not stop when I am behind the wheel. During my behind-the-wheel time it is a great time to explain why I decided to brake early, or explain a known traffic pattern I have observed. As Jeff Payne, founder of Driver’s Edge said to me in my interview with him, “As a parent you are always an example.” Whether my son and I are talking or not… he is learning… SOMETHING.

That’s a little scary.

I imagine it will be interesting to see my OWN reports from the Safe Driver Car Connection device, and what a great way to teach a teen as well. There’s nothing like a parent putting his or herself out there. Over the next 3 months I will be testing out this device for myself.

I look forward to sharing what I learn with you. And if you just can’t wait to see what I have to say, devices are available right now at Walmart and online at and The Safe Driver Car Connection device retails for $139.99 (MSRP). There are two service plans available: $10/30 days and $100/1 year. These plans are unique for this device and cannot be used with any other device.

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