‘Tough Decision’ on Teen Safe Driver Program Keeps Teen Safe, Sets Good Example for Friends

Teen Safe Driver programHaving a new teen driver in the family can be frightening. Statistically, one in six teens is involved in a car crash within the first year of driving.

When my son got his driver’s license, he was great about putting on his seatbelt. Unfortunately, his passengers weren’t always so responsible. After we began using the Teen Safe Driver program, we caught this kind of behavior, and as a family we talked about how it’s important it is for everyone in a vehicle to be properly restrained.

Sometimes teenagers don’t want to point out such shortcomings to their friends. But with a camera in the car, our son could now let his passengers know they’d be "caught" if they didn’t buckle up. After a discussion on this topic, we never observed un-belted passengers again.

The decision to participate in American Family Insurance'sTeen Safe Driver program was not easy. Our son protested at first. After all, none of his friends had this technology in their cars. If they had, it would have made things a little easier.

Clearly, though, some of his friends would have benefited greatly from the program. On multiple occasions, I’d observed their bad teen driving habits. Our son even commented that some of his friends have been in accidents and received tickets. He’s now 23 years old and is still accident free.

I challenge parents in similar circumstances to find others within their circle of friends to enroll in the Teen Safe Driver program together. That way, not all the pressure is on one parent or teen driver.

Teen Safe Driver logoIt was tough to be the only "bad" parents, but we understood the importance of learning good driving habits early, so we focused on this goal. We stayed tough and told our son that driving is a privilege and not a right. We are assuming the risk by signing for him and providing the insurance, so we have the ultimate say. Plus, he is our child, we are the parents and the parents need to be the ones in charge.

Parenting isn’t always easy. Tough love is part of our job description.

Editor’s note: Tina is an American Family Insurance employee and the mother of a teenage driver who together participated in American Family’s Teen Safe Driver program. As a result, she’s seen firsthand the benefits of this innovative technology that helps monitor and record teens’ driving patterns so they can learn to improve. 

by Tina Schoewe on Tue, Apr 23 2013 8:57 am
Posted by Tina Schoewe on Tue, Apr 23 2013 8:57 amTina Schoewe is casualty claims adjuster for American Family Insurance.


John Robinson said on Apr 29, 2013
Hi. Do you have statistics to show that using the teen driver safety program can reduce accidents by over 70%. Is this a proven statistic?

Tom Buchheim said on Apr 29, 2013
Hey John - Thanks for your question. Yes, the results are from a 2007 study in the Journal of Safety Research.
John Robinson said on Apr 29, 2013
Hi Tom,

Thank you for your quick answer! :-) I have done a google search but can not find anything. Do you have a direct link? If not its ok.

Thanks again.

Tom Buchheim said on May 01, 2013
Hello John,
The Journal of Safety Research study is only available for purchase. Here's a link to the study's summary: Thanks again for your interest.

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