TALLAHASSEE, FL-- Kelly Jones is only 17, but she’s already learned some hard lessons about safe driving. Last year a car wreck claimed her friend’s life.
“That was really sobering for the whole school. And I think it was a lesson, a sad one, of just how important safety is,” Jones said.
Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death among teens. 200 drivers ages 15 to 19 died last year in Florida alone.
Ford is using technology to cut down on the number of crashes.
The company’s new MyKey technology allows parents to give their teens a special car key that caps the car's maximum speed at 80.
There’s even a feature for teens who like to blare their music. The MyKey technology limits the stereo’s volume to 65 percent.
Ford spokeswoman Audrey Stone says the technology provides an incentive to drive safe. “We don’t want to have our teenagers distracted these days and we feel like the 65 percent volume capacity is plenty enough for the teenager to enjoy their driving experience but also stay safe.”
The radio won’t even play if the driver isn’t wearing a seatbelt.
Kelly Jones says no one want the music to stop. “Most teenagers listen to the radio, so that’s a big thing.”
The MyKey cars also display messages on a dashboard screen, signaling to drive safely or buckle up, but the most important instruction needs to come from parents long before the child ever gets behind the wheel.
Cars with the MyKey technology are available at Ford dealers throughout the state. It is considered a standard feature in most 2010 Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury vehicles.
Copyright 2009 The E.W. Scripps Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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