Teen Safe Driver ProgramSM helps young drivers improve their behind-the-wheel skills

Madison, Wis. (Feb. 8, 2008) – The Teen Safe Driver Program, an innovative program that helps young drivers overcome the challenges of learning how to drive, is now available to American Family Insurance automobile insurance customers in all of the company’s operating states.

Produced in conjunction with DriveCam Inc., the year-long Teen Safe Driver Program is offered at no cost to American Family auto insurance customers who have a teen driver. American Family customers can register for the program at www.teensafedriver.com. Enrolled parents log in to that site 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. 

“American Family Insurance is very encouraged by the results from the Teen Safe Driver Program,” said Jack Salzwedel, American Family’s president and chief operating officer. “We’ve heard from many families that Teen Safe Driver was a positive learning experience, and we’ve also seen a consistent reduction of risky driving behavior in the area of about 70 percent.”

The program was first introduced in Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin in March 2007, and extended in August 2007 to Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Nevada and Utah. Teen Safe Driver is now available in all 18 of American Family’s operating states.

DriveCam’s innovative combination of technology and service are at the heart of the Teen Safe Driver Program - the same solution applied 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 e-mail with links to the secure Web site for viewing the video clips.

“The Teen Safe Driver Program provides a platform for open communication between parents and teens about driving and opportunities for reducing risky behavior behind the wheel,” said Rusty Weiss, director of DriveCam’s consumer division.  “We have received positive feedback from parents about the Teen Safe Driver Program’s ability to foster constructive conversations, and early survey results also demonstrate that teens are likely to recommend it to their peers.” 

“What’s particularly encouraging is the lasting impact of Teen Safe Driver,” said Salzwedel. “A recent study by the University of Iowa – using the same technology provided by the Teen Safe Driver program – found that changes in behavior persisted beyond the duration of the program, even after the feedback to the parent and teen was stopped."

Media contacts (in some markets, American Family Insurance can arrange interviews with the consent of participating families):

Steve Witmer
American Family Insurance
(608) 242-4100, ext. 32121

Ken Muth
American Family Insurance
(608) 242-4100, ext. 30680

Samantha Blau
Porter Novelli for DriveCam, Inc.
(312) 856-8814

Based in Madison, Wis., American Family Insurance offers auto, homeowners, life, health, commercial and farm/ranch insurance in 18 states. American Family ranks 338th 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 70,000 commercial and government vehicles.