The Best Car-Tracking Devicesby Ronald Corker
GPS car-tracking systems are not the same devices that you mount to your dashboard for directions. They offer a means to promote safe driving among teens and employees and contact family members or employers quickly after an accident. Car-tracking devices can also help recover a stolen vehicle and ensure that drivers use the vehicle appropriately.
Car-Tracking Device Overview
There are two types of car GPS systems. They offer vehicle location data in different ways and have different power sources. Both types of devices provide a means to view a full history of a vehicle’s travels. For employers, the systems offer data they can use for mileage and time tracking.
GPS System Benefits
A car GPS-tracking system protects the family member or employee who is driving as well as the vehicle itself. GPS systems can monitor a vehicle’s speed and movement. Parents who monitor their teen’s driving habits are helping them to develop safe driving habits, and employers can ensure that employees are driving safely. Drivers are also less likely to visit high-risk areas if they know there are consequences for their actions. Some insurance companies offer a discount because of this added protection against unsafe driving and theft. Some GPS systems also have a panic button that offers a fast way for family members or employees to call for help in an emergency.
Active Car GPS Systems
Active car GPS systems work much like the GPS device that you use on your dashboard for directions. They offer near real-time information through a cellular network and report a driver’s speed and location. Users of this type of tracker can view the recorded information on their computer or via their smartphone’s Web browser. These system’s features are robust. They allow parents or fleet managers to set alerts if a driver has exceeded a speed limit or geographic location. They can also send an email or text notification if the driver exceeds this threshold. An active car GPS device can also send an immediate notification if someone tampers with it. Active car GPS systems plug into the vehicle’s dash and draw power from the car’s electrical system. These GPS systems are also a useful recovery tool if a thief steals the vehicle.
Passive Car GPS Systems
Passive car GPS systems record the vehicle’s position every 60 seconds. To access this device’s data, you must remove it from the vehicle and connect it to a USB port. These systems are battery-powered and offer convenience for users who need to move the device between several vehicles. However, they are much easier to tamper with. For instance, a driver can remove a passive device and store it in another vehicle or location temporarily. For the same reason, if a car thief sees the device after stealing the vehicle, a passive device will offer little assistance in retrieving your vehicle. Despite this, passive devices are suitable for drivers who have leased their vehicle and do not want to violate the terms of their agreement. They also low-cost alternatives for businesses that only need to record mileage and location data for bookkeeping purposes.
- link ABC Action News: Allowing Your Insurance Company to Track Your Driving Could Save You Hundreds of Dollars
- link Consumer Reports: How to Track Your Teen Driver
- link The New York Times: Lower Your Car Insurance Bill, at the Price of Some Privacy
- link Safe Teen Driving Club: GPS Trackers -- Teen GPS Tracking and Other Safety Tools