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New Fords Let Parents Limit Teen Drivers

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says car crashes are the leading cause of death
among teenagers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than
5,000 U.S. teens die each year in vehicle crashes. The rate of crashes, fatal and nonfatal,
per mile driven for 16-year-old drivers is almost 10 times the rate for drivers ages 30 to
59. In response, Ford Motor Co. announced a new feature that can limit teen drivers to 80
mph, using a computer chip in the key. The feature, called “MyKey,” will be standard on
certain Ford models when the 2010 cars and trucks are introduced and will spread to the
entire Ford, Lincoln and Mercury lineup as models are updated. MyKey allows the parent to
program any key through the vehicle message center, which updates the SecuriLock passive
antitheft system. When the MyKey is inserted into the ignition, the system reads the
transponder chip in the key and immediately identifies the MyKey code, which enables
certain default driving modes, including a persistent Beltminder, an earlier low-fuel
warning, and the inability to deactivate certain features such as Park Aid and traction
control. Parents will be able to program the teen’s key to limit the audio system’s volume,
and to sound continuous alerts if the driver doesn’t wear a seat belt. Parents also have
the option of having the car sound a chime if the teen exceeds 45, 55 or 65 mph.

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