In-Car Cameras Making Teens Safer?

February 28, 2007

While Senators Clinton and Sununu are focusing on making rearview cameras standard in all cars, a growing number of parents are putting cameras inside their autos—to keep an unblinking eye on their teens’ driving habits.

The Wall Street Journal reports that American Family Mutual Insurance is helping the movement along. Beginning today, the nation’s tenth-largest auto insurer is embarking on a test program with some of its customers to outfit their vehicles with DriveCam, a system that records driver movements on video and records footage of the road ahead when it senses rapid braking or acceleration.

The company says it aims to better driving skills of teens, who are responsible for large numbers of accidents each year. The Journal adds that the chief cause of death among some teen age groups is in car accidents.

American Family will let customers in Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin request the system. Those accepted to the program will get the hardware free of charge. Parents will get data on how their kids are driving on a regular basis. The system is already in use in commercial applications.

Initial studies suggest the worst drivers monitored by the system experienced a 72-percent drop in safety-related events, the paper notes.

"It's going to make the kids safer drivers," Jack Salzwedel, president of American Family, told the Journal.

Is a Candid Camera The Key to Safer Teenage Drivers?The Wall Street Journal

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