Using a GPS tracker is a great way to ensure the safety of your child or teen driver when you're not with them. The best GPS tracking device allows your child or teen the freedom without you having to escort them, but still lets you monitor their whereabouts and, in the case of a teen driving alone for the first time, if they re speeding. We offer a few tips to help parents get the most out of the device when they compare best GPS trackers.
Choosing a GPS Tracker
We took a look at 11 GPS systems for tracking, and our top three, the Spark Nano, Zoombak Advanced A-GPS and the Winplus GPS tracker, have the tracking features and ease of use so you can actively get the location, speed and other important data, all in real time. One GPS tracker (iTrail) is passive, only giving you a history of where they ve been. Two others are used to save a location, such as your car before you go hiking, then guide you back so you don't get lost in an unfamiliar place.
Don t Spy on Your Kids
Before we get into using your chosen GPS tracker, it s important that you sit down with your children or teen drivers and let them know you aren t spying on them with the navigational device, but using it to make sure they arrive and depart from their agreed-upon destinations, such as school, a friend s house and so on.
Don t try to hide the device in the car or their backpack, because you want your kids to know you trust them to travel alone. Also, hiding the GPS tracker can severely limit or even cut off the satellite transmission, especially within a car. You need to place it on the car s dashboard to work properly, giving it an area to transmit its signals.
Using the GPS Tracker
Many of the GPS trackers use software or a web-based user interface featuring a map that will report updated, real-time location information. Others use a mobile phone SIM card, and you call the GPS device, which will text you location coordinates.
As mentioned above, you can t bury or hide the unit, as it will cut off or hamper the signal, so you ll need to fasten it to your son or daughter s backpack or bike, or on the dash of your teen s car. The device looks like it s a pager, so it s very likely their friends won t know what it is.
As you check coordinates, make sure you aren t doing it too often, perhaps once every 10 to 15 minutes. The more you request the GPS tracker to transmit its location, the faster its rechargeable battery will run out. Some units come with a car charger, others you ll need to pay extra for it.
In addition to real-time tracking, you can set up a geo-fence, or safety zone, which is an area you set up in the software or web interface, and if your child or teen travels outside the zone, you will receive an alert. It s good to agree upon the areas they can travel in so they know places and areas to avoid. You can also use the geo-fence to alert you when they arrive at their destination, and when they depart.
GPS trackers are a great way to monitor your teen driver or child s whereabouts, while still giving them the freedom of traveling alone. While actively tracking their location and sending you text message alerts when they arrive or depart from their location, these navigational devices are a great way to keep your family safe.