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How the OnStar Guardian™ App Helps Keep Families Safe (and Parents Sane)

You'll still worry about your kids, but it can help you worry less.

This story was produced in collaboration with OnStar.

When it was released in 1996, OnStar® was a revelation. For the first time, drivers could connect, easily and instantly, to professionals who could assist with everything from a flat tire to a serious crash. The proliferation of smartphones in the 25 years since then created an opportunity to bring the safety and security of OnStar to everyone, no matter what vehicle they drive. It’s an opportunity that has not been missed.

The OnStar Guardian app continues the brand’s legacy outside the confines of the car, bringing it to everyone with a compatible smartphone.1 It’s useful for all kinds of drivers, but it’s particularly valuable for parents, a group that has some uniquely strong worries when it comes to hitting the road.

Here are four specific worries parents have when it comes to cars and driving—and four ways that the OnStar Guardian app helps reduce those worries.

Teen Drivers

The Worry: Getting a driver’s license is a seminal coming-of-age moment for teenagers, but the reality is that teens are inexperienced at a disadvantage when it comes to road safety. Half of all teens will be involved in a car crash before they graduate from high school, according to the National Safety Council. And while teaching safe driving habits is important, parents will always be nervous when their kids hit the road.

How OnStar Guardian Helps: The Mobile Crash Response feature uses sensors on a smartphone to detect when it’s in a moving vehicle and identify the change in acceleration that happens when a crash occurs.2 It then notifies an OnStar Emergency-Certified Advisor who can contact First Responders. So if your teen is in a crash, as a driver or passenger, the app can get help to them quickly. (And in case you were wondering, it’s smart enough to know the difference between a fender-bender and a clumsy teenager dropping their phone on the floor.)

Car Troubles

The Worry: There’s no such thing as good car trouble, but there are some particularly bad situations drivers can find themselves in. A flat tire in the middle of the road, keys locked in the car, and an empty gas tank miles from the station all come to mind. Parents don’t want to find themselves in any of these predicaments, and they really don’t want their kids to.

How OnStar Guardian Helps: Up to seven family members who have the OnStar Guardian app activated on their phones can use it to request Roadside Assistance for things like dead batteries, flat tires, empty tanks, and lockouts.3 And once they do, the OnStar Guardian app will keep them informed on the status of their technician, reassuring them that help is on the way in a stressful situation.

Family Locations

The Worry: Whether it’s their daily commute to school or a longer trip to watch their favorite team play their archrival, parents want to know when the young drivers arrive safely at their destination.

How OnStar Guardian Helps: The Location Status section of the app shows all of the family members who have the app installed on a map.4 It’s an easy way to stay connected with family without nagging them with phone calls or text messages. (Your kids will definitely appreciate that last part.) You can even set boundary alerts that will let you know when they enter or leave a certain radius—no watching dots move slowly across the map required.

The Unknown

The Worry: Part of being a parent is learning to be OK as your kid grows up, becomes progressively less dependent on you, and gradually takes more and more control of their life. Of course, that doesn’t mean that parents ever truly stop worrying about their kids no matter how old and independent they get.

How OnStar Guardian Helps: Perhaps the most valuable feature of the OnStar Guardian app is the red emergency button that instantly connects anyone who pushes it to an OnStar Emergency-Certified Advisor.5 These professionals are trained to assess the situation and, if needed, inform the appropriate authorities of the nature and location of the emergency. OnStar Advisors can also provide critical medical instructions until help arrives. In short, they ensure that no one in your family is left alone in an emergency situation.

No app can deliver what parents truly want: a guarantee that their kid can drive out into a world free of danger. But the OnStar Guardian app does deliver the next best thing: the added peace of mid that comes from knowing that if your kid does run into trouble, they won’t ever be far from the help they need.

1 U.S. and Canada only. Available on select Apple and Android devices. Mobile Crash Response services are intended for use in select vehicles only and can connect automatically on Android devices only. Service coverage varies with conditions and location. Service availability, features and functionality vary by device and software version. OnStar Guardian service plan (stand-alone plan, add-on plan or plan that includes the service), cell reception, GPS signal, and device data connection required. Terms apply. Device permissions are required for app to operate properly. OnStar links to emergency services. Device and app may not transmit all crash data. See onstar.com for details and limitations. Pricing and availability subject to change. You may cancel at any time by calling 1.888.4ONSTAR (1.888.466.7827).
2 U.S. and Canada only. Available on select Apple and Android devices. Mobile Crash Response services are intended for use in select vehicles only and can connect automatically on Android devices only. Service coverage varies with conditions and location. Service availability, features and functionality vary by device and software version. OnStar Guardian service plan (standalone plan, add-on plan or plan that includes the service), cell reception, GPS signal, and device data connection required. Terms apply. Device permissions are required for app to operate properly. OnStar links to emergency services. Device and app may not transmit all crash data.
3 Roadside service provided by Allstate Roadside Services for vehicles only. Limitations and
restrictions apply. Towing services have additional fees.
4 Service is designed to locate compatible smartphones with Location Services permission enabled. Functionality varies by mobile device and plan. Data rates may apply. Terms and limitations apply. See onstar.com for details and limitations.
5 Certified by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch®.