Webcams in teens’ cars

One hundred families in southern Maryland are participating in a study with Webcams installed in the cars their teenagers drive. "Last year, crashes involving drivers ages 16 to 20 killed 112 people in the state," the Washington Post reports. "Such accidents, including one this week in Montgomery County, are often caused not by alcohol or overt recklessness but by simple driver inexperience." So the state's trying to figure out where inexperience takes its toll. The camera doesn't capture everything – only 20 seconds of footage after it "senses" unusual movements like sudden braking or swerving. "Saved footage is transmitted back to [the camera maker] DriveCam via a cellular network. DriveCam experts review the videos, add tips for the young drivers and post them to a Web site where parents can see them a day or so later. Parents receive an email alert when the videos are posted." Not all the teens involved hate it, apparently. "Many teens admit that as much as they might loathe the camera, it does force them to pay closer attention to their driving." The year-long study's only a few weeks old.

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