FAQ :: Can parents watch their teens driving on a vehicle spy camera?

Parents in three Mid-western states can watch know just how good — or bad– their children’s driving is when they take the car for a drive.

In February 2007 American Family Insurance offered customers with teen drivers free cameras that record what happens when a sudden change in the vehicle’s movement occurs. The cameras record the action inside and in front of the car in 20-second audio-video clips. The clips are transmitted by cellular technology to Drive Cam, a San Diego company that analyzes the clips for risky behavior. Parents can receive a report on their children’s driving and view the clips on a home computer.

Automobile accidents are the leading cause of death among U.S. teens, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “At the end of the day, there will be fewer accidents,” said Rick Fetherston, vice president for public relations at American Family.

Initially the American Family Insurance people said it would test the system out by offering it for free for one year to 30,000 families in Wisconsin, Indiana and Minnesota. The aim of the pilot program was to see whether the system results in fewer accidents. If the system is proven to prevent accidents then customers who volunteer to use it might see their insurance premiums drop.

Bruce Moeller, president and CEO of DriveCam, says his company’s system has already being used by companies with fleets of vehicles. “Some of our clients are all touting a 30% to 90% reduction in their risky driver events,” said Moeller. [1]


[1]Dorell, Oren. “Cameras in cars keep watch on teen driving.” USA Today. 2.28.2007. www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-02-28-camera-cars_x.htm.