Madison, Wis. (May 20, 2010) — With graduation season in full swing and summer just around the corner, it's important to know a few alarming statistics: Car crashes are the number one cause of teen fatalities. One in six teens is in an accident during the first year of driving. Nearly half of all fatal car crashes involving teen drivers are single-car crashes.
It's this sobering reality that steers the Teen Safe Driver Program from American Family Insurance and the newest elements of the program -- seven consumer education videos.
The timely videos link to the popular YouTube website from the program's website www.teensafedriver.com and cover a broad range of subjects related to teen driving. As part of the Teen Safe Driver Program, they underscore the company's commitment to helping teens learn safe driving habits and encouraging dialogue between teens and parents.
The new video titles and topics include:
"Two's good company, three's a crowd" -- Talks about how more passengers greatly increases the crash risk for teen drivers
"The benefits of graduated licensing" -- Explains why graduated driving license programs work to keep teens safer behind the wheel
"Protect yourself from erratic drivers" -- Demonstrates how teen drivers can't control other drivers but can learn to protect themselves from other erratic behavior on the road
"Is your teen ready to drive?" -- Asks the questions that can help determine if teens have the necessary maturity to get a driver's license; meant to be viewed together by teens and their parents
"Don't drive mad" -- Talks about how to keep anger from causing a crash
"Always focusing on the road" -- Explains how multi-tasking is a popular notion these days, but turns out it's not such an effective way of doing things, particularly when it comes to driving
"Advice for new drivers and their siblings" -- Discusses waiting for a teen driver to have siblings as passengers, since the first few months after a teen gets a license are the most dangerous
The Teen Safe Driver Program was introduced in 2007 and uses an innovative combination of technology (via an in-vehicle video and audio unit) and parental involvement (via the special website www.teensafedriver.com) to help educate and guide parents and the new young drivers in their households to learning and practicing responsible driving habits.
When American Family customers with a beginning teen driver voluntarily sign up for Teen Safe Driver (at no cost for the one-year program), an in-vehicle video and audio unit is installed to capture risky driving behaviors such as excessive speed, sharp turns and hard braking. Parents log in to www.teensafedriver.com to view the driving report card, video events and coaching tips, including an objective, third-party assessment of the teen driver's driving performance compared with other teens.
"Balancing the freedom teens experience when they get the keys to the family car with the hard discussions parents want to have with them about being safe can be difficult," says Kevin Piette, American Family product portfolio director. "The Teen Safe Driver program provides the opportunity to have those conversations and learn from real experiences."
Julie Rupert, auto lines director, notes the impressive results of the program to date. "By week 18 we see an increase in seat belt usage to 100 percent and a greater than 70 percent reduction in the frequency and severity of risky driving events among new drivers," she says. "Our goal is to give teens and their parents an educational tool for preventing accidents and promoting good driving behavior. Hopefully both can then feel more secure when teens get behind the wheel."
And to remind the teens in your life to drive safe this summer, check out American Family's Celebrations application on Facebook where they can send a seatbelt safety reminder gift and remind their friends of the importance of always buckling up.
Based in Madison, Wis., members of the American Family Insurance Group offer auto insurance, homeowners insurance, life insurance, health insurance, business and farm/ranch insurance in 19 states. American Family Mutual Insurance Company is the nation's third-largest mutual property/casualty insurance company and ranks 344th on the Fortune 500 list. Web: www.amfam.com; Facebook: www.facebook.com/amfam; Twitter: www.twitter.com/amfam.