Madison, Wis. (March 1, 2007) — The Teen Safe Driver ProgramSM, an innovative program that helps young drivers overcome the challenges of learning how to drive, is available March 1 to eligible American Family Insurance automobile insurance customers in Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Parents log in to the Web site, www.teensafedriver.com to view the driving report card, video events and coaching tips, including objective, third-party assessment of the teen driver’s driving performance compared with other teens. Produced in conjunction with DriveCam Inc., the Teen Safe Driver Program is offered at no cost for one year to American Family auto insurance customers who have a teen driver. American Family customers can register for the program at www.teensafedriver.com.
“American Family Insurance is proud to make the Teen Safe Driver Program available to our customers in these three states,” said Jack Salzwedel, American Family’s president and chief operating officer. “American Family has been an active supporter of efforts to improve auto safety, and the Teen Safe Driver Program helps make our roads safer for all drivers … not just the teens participating in the program.”
DriveCam’s innovative combination of technology and service are at the heart of the Teen Safe Driver Program - the same solution applied extensively and successfully in commercial fleet settings. Once installed, the in-vehicle video and audio camera captures risky driving behaviors such as swerving, hard braking, sudden acceleration and collisions.
The unit sends the images and sounds wirelessly to an analysis center, where trained analysts review, add coaching comments, and assign each risky driving event a risk score. Parents and teens receive weekly status reports via email with links to the secure Web site for viewing the video clips.
“Young drivers are involved in more crashes than other age groups, as result of their inexperience and inability to manage their environment – both inside and outside the vehicle,” said Rusty Weiss, director of DriveCam’s consumer division. “The Teen Safe Driver Program relies on patented DriveCam technology and our driving experts to identify both positive driving behaviors and opportunities for improvement. We set the table for robust, constructive conversations between parents and young drivers.”
American Family auto insurance customers in Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin who have teenage drivers in their household can register for the program at www.teensafedriver.com.
“Research has identified motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of death for teens in the United States,” said Salzwedel. “American Family has been an active supporter of efforts to improve auto safety, and the company viewed Teen Safe Driver as an opportunity to help make our roads safer for all drivers.”
American Family conducted pilot programs at Edgewood High School in Madison, Wis., and Prior Lake High School in Prior Lake, Minn. By helping parents help their teens, the Teen Safe Driver Program achieved a greater than 70 percent reduction in the frequency and severity of risky driving events among these novice drivers.
A recent study by the University of Iowa of rural Iowa high school drivers using the same Drive Cam technology provided by the Teen Safe Driver program produced similar results. The University of Iowa is proceeding with a study of urban teen drivers in south Minneapolis.
Based in Madison, Wis., American Family Insurance offers auto, homeowners, life, health, commercial and farm/ranch insurance, plus financial services, in 18 states. American Family ranks 323rd on the Fortune 500 list and is the nation’s third-largest mutual property/casualty insurance company.
DriveCam is a global Driver Risk Management company that reduces claims costs and saves lives by improving the way people drive. By combining sight and sound, expert analysis and driver coaching, DriveCam has reduced vehicle damages, workers’ compensation and personal injury costs by 30 to 90 percent in more than 60,000 commercial and government vehicles. DriveCam has the world’s largest repository of events reflecting actual risky driving behaviors. In 2006, Inc. Magazine included DriveCam on its list of the 500 fastest-growing, privately held companies in the U.S. for the second consecutive year. For more information, visit www.drivecam.com.