Grant Fraser, Product and Marketing Director at Matrix, a brand of MiX Telematics (Africa)
As a parent in South Africa, one of the most daunting and frightening aspects is how to prioritise your child’s safety while at home, in the car, at school – wherever and whenever. Yet, while you may resort to all available solutions, you are still left wondering whether you have done enough – right?
The reality is that no matter how much you do, unfortunately we live in a high crime society and as such, you and your children are very often at risk.
We hear so many parents talking about what they would do if they were involved in a hijacking situation and how they would ensure they get their kids safely out of the car. While this is something no one wants to think about – and you would hope that you are never in this situation – this is a step in the right direction when it comes to vehicle safety.
Of course, securing your children in the correct height appropriate car seat is critical, but having a plan of action in place for the unexpected is just as important. Technology has defined the vehicle safety space with the latest in vehicle tracking and personal safety solutions. Today, vehicle tracking is no longer just a black box in your car – it now provides parents with peace of mind that not only are their vehicles safe, but so too are their family’s – be it from school, from home, or travelling around town.
Let’s take a look at some of the innovations that are ensuring safer journeys for you and your family:
Vehicle tracking and recovery – We all understand the importance of owning a tracking device to recover our cars should they be stolen, but have you considered the importance of such tracking should one of your children be stuck in the car when stolen? With a reliable tracking device, through a company with a strong track record, you are able to track your vehicle every step of the way – priceless, if you consider the final outcome.
Real-time vehicle monitoring – Monitoring your vehicle via your cell phone, no matter if you are inside the vehicle or elsewhere, makes it easier for your spouse to check in on you and your family, if he/she is concerned about your whereabouts.
Early warning alerts – You will receive ‘early warning’ alerts if there is any unauthorised movement of your vehicle. This type of early warning can negate you walking to your car and straight into a vehicle theft situation.
Geo-fences – When travelling, families can customise their own safety zones – indicating when they are in a dangerous area. Alerts can be generated and shared via your smartphone, allowing family members to know when you enter unsafe areas.
Crash Alert – Certain tracking devices include an impact sensor with Crash Alert functionality that will instantaneously send an alert to a 24/7 Operations Centre. Features such as this are critical when time counts and while it is not something you would usually think of, a feature like this can mean the difference between life and death – whether yours or your children’s.
So, this year, think about how you can further prioritise your and your child’s safety while on the road. Identify key aspects that would help you make quicker, more informed decisions and understand that only through a proactive approach to safety can you truly mitigate your risk or, at the very least, ensure you have sight of your vehicle – should the unexpected happen.