Teenage Car Safety: Bad Moms Have A Few Ideas

By on June 29, 2011

Last week, I had the pleasure of heading to Dearborn, MI to check out some of the new trends that Ford is putting in them there motorcars. (I also got to drag race an F150, but that’s another story altogether). As a Mom, my interests in cars have naturally changed. No more are things like street cred or stereo loudness the priority. These days I tend to more think about safety rating and airbags and fuel mileage. BORING.

Despite the fact that my daughter is merely two, one of the things that really stuck with me was a brilliant little feature called MyKey. The concept is simple:  when you use your designated key to drive your car, you can use all the bells and whistles you like because you, presumably, are a mature adult who knows how to drive responsibly – ie. within the speed limit, not texting your friends, not applying lipstick in the rearview mirror on the freeway. (At least, not anymore.)

Your teenager, however, may not have the same sort of judgment. Which is the sort of thing that keeps most parents climbing the walls and nervous wrecks while their kid is out cruising in the car with their friends. But this is where the brilliance of the MyKey doohickey comes in: when the teenager starts the car with their designated key, it is automatically programmed to completely take all the fun out of driving a car. And that’s how us parents like it. MyKey will set a speed limit. It will disable your kid’s cell phone so that they can’t send or receive calls or texts (unless they need to call 911. Which they won’t). It will turn off the speakers in the car unless their seat belts are fastened. It will limit the volume on the stereo so that they can’t drive around in circles mindlessly blasting Beyonce and not paying attention to the road. It will give them way more warning about low fuel, so that when they ditch it in the driveway for you to fill it up you’ll have 80 km worth of gas left rather than 50.

These features are brilliant. And I want more. Because I remember the kind of shit I did in a car as a teenager, and I’d like a way to prevent basically any of that from happening when my kid’s driving. So I’m asking the brilliant minds who created these features to consider a few new ones. My daughter may be only two, but the day she gets her driver’s license is looming large. So, for the 2025 release of the Fiesta, I’d like to ask Ford to also implement the following features:

No Necking Feature. If the car is parked for more than 5 minutes in a secluded spot AND a teenage boy is in the car, the car will automatically turn on all the interior lights, start playing the least romantic music possible and pipe in a recording of her father’s voice saying “Hey, punk. You DO know I own a shotgun, right? Viva Stephen Harper!”

Music Correction. Teenagers cannot always be trusted to make good musical choices. The Music Correction feature will prevent any questionable music from being played on the in-car stereo. Filters include Bieber, Nickelback and Celine Dion power ballads. (Or, you know, the 2025 equivalent.)

Fuel Tracking. The car will automatically track how much fuel is burned driving aimlessly around town killing time when they said they were going to the library and will deduct the appropriate amount from the teenager’s next allowance.

Stalkproofing. Should my teenage daughter at any time choose to drive past a boy’s house more than once in an evening to see if he’s there/his parents are there/that girl from French class is there, the car will prevent return to that street within 24 hours. This will alleviate stress and humiliation when his parents end up calling the police because someone appears to be casing their house, and will also prevent panicked driving at high speeds when the boy in question actually emerges, confused, wondering why that car keeps driving by.

Obviously, Ford will need to come up with catchier names, but that’s the gist. We’ll take any other suggestions you might have. I’m sure they’ll appreciate it.


Disclosure: I was a guest of Ford at the Forward With Ford Event from June 21-23 at Dearborn, Michigan on behalf of the Bad Moms Club. This post was not requested or compensated in any way by Ford, but was inspired by what I saw at their facilities.

About Shannon

Shannon is a transplanted Nova Scotian who has not lost the ability to dismember a lobster with her bare hands. She worked for years in high tech before becoming a full time mom, which now makes her a complete expert on everything parental (SNORT.) You can find more Shannon info at zchamu.com.


  1. Janine @ Alternative Housewife says:

    Those are some cool features! Ugh, it makes me panicky to think about my son driving and he isn’t even one. I think that watching my little brother come of age has put the fear in me! Great selling points for sure – I love how you say the goal is to make the car as un-fun as possible.
    Janine @ Alternative Housewife´s last [type] ..Sunday Link Love


  1. Just A Small Town Girl | zchamu dot com says:

    [...] I scrambled and jumped through hoops and found childcare and the rest is history.  I’ve attended Ford events before, but I was truly blown away by this offer and by the opportunity to attend. And, given what I got [...]