American Family Insurance Teen Safe Driver Program Starts in Nebraska

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On October 17th American Family Insurance implemented the Teen Safe Driver Program in Nebraska. The program is designed to improve the driving habits of teenage drivers. Parents will be able to monitor and follow up on the driving habits of their teenage drivers even when they are not in the vehicle with them.

The program works by having an event data recorder installed in the vehicle driven by a teenager. The data recorder is produced and monitored by DriveCam of San Diego. The data recorder has 2 cameras. One camera faces the roadway and the 2nd camera faces the interior of the vehicle. The cameras are constantly recording, but none of the data is kept unless a motion detector is triggered. When the motion detector is triggered the unit saves the 10 seconds prior to the trigger and the 10 seconds following the trigger for a complete 20 second audio and video clip of what occurred. The clip will include the camera views facing the roadway and the interior of the vehicle. The clips are sent to DriveCam where they are reviewed by professional driver's education instructors. The instructors give a score for each clip. Saved clips and a report card are posted to a secured website each week. Parents can access the website to review the clips and report cards with their teenage drivers. American Family Insurance does not receive copies of the clips or report cards.

This is a free program available to all American Family customers that have a teenage driver. If a person wants to enroll in the program they can go to or visit their local American Family Agent. Once enrolled, DriveCam will ship the data recorder to the parents so it can be installed. Installation will be done by a body shop. The parents get to keep the unit for one year, so they can coach their teenager on safe driving habits. After the year is completed the data recorder is removed from the vehicle and returned to DriveCam.

Results from pilot programs in Minnesota and Wisconsin show that teens' driving improves the entire time the data recorder is in the vehicle. It also shows that seat belt use improves dramatically. Having the data recorder in the vehicle is much like having the parent in the vehicle with the teenage driver, so they are more inclined to use their seat belt and use safe driving habits.


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Jason Busch
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