David in Oxford, Mississippi listens on SuperTalk Mississippi – calling in via the app and asked: “My mother is in her early 90s and still drives. My siblings and I are very concerned when she is on the road. We are looking for a practical solution to monitor her travel for safety purposes. A cell phone is not on the list of possibilities. Do you have any suggestions?”
David, if a phone is out of the question, your best bet is probably an OBD2 tracker.
Theyre great in the sense that they require virtually no installation, theyre just plug and play, and theyre not expensive, but they do require a monthly plan.
T-Mobile and AT&T are currently giving the device itself away if you sign a $10/month contract, but you can also buy devices and get your own plan without a contract if you prefer.
The reason this may work well for your mother is that it will give you her cars location, you can set boundaries to get geofencing alerts, and you can typically set speed limits and other triggers for safety alerts.
If you think you can talk her into accepting a smartwatch and wearing and keeping it charged, there are smartwatches with their own phone plans that can basically do the same thing and will also pinpoint her location when shes out of the car.
The advantage of a smart watch is that it could alert you of other things (like falls) and it would give her a phone line in case of an emergency in a more compact package.
The disadvantage of a smartwatch is that it does need to be charged regularly, and possibly more importantly, worn.
One other thing Chris can recommend is a product he uses in his car. Its the Viper Connect. This is a small device that plugs into the cars OBD port. It allows you to track the vehicle in real time, which is great for keeping an eye not only on elderly parents, but teeneagers. You can also setup geofencing, so that if your mom drives out of a certain area, it will alert you. It also has lockdown alerts, and can notify you anytime the vehicle is moved. You and your siblings can all download the app and keep an eye on your mom. The Viper Connect device sells for about $150 and the service plan, for the GPS tracking is $120 a year. You can buy it at many 12v dealers and since its plug and go, theres no installation to pay for.
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