Cameras in cars: Recording your teen's risky driving

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by Karen Zatkulak

NWCN.com

Posted on April 17, 2014 at 7:23 PM

BOISE -- There's a new push in the Treasure Valley to make sure young drivers are being safe behind the wheel.

It's a camera that lets you watch exactly what your child is doing just before and after a risky driving movement.

It's part of a program offered by American Family Insurance.

The device has been around since 2007, but insurance agents are pushing the program, especially in conjunction with this month's distracted driving awareness campaign.

17-year-old Kanyon Krawl has been driving with the device for about five months.

"At first I hated it because if you do anything wrong like turn too sharp, it goes off and it records you," said Krawl.

But now, Krawl has gotten used to the device and says it's made her a better driver.

"You're more alert and your parents watch it so you get in trouble if you do bad," said Krawl. "I think it's helped me a lot."

It works by recording ten seconds before and ten seconds after a risky driving movement.

That includes things like sharp turns, or driving too fast over speed bumps.

Then, the clip, which contains both video and audio of the driver, gets sent to the teen's parents via email.

"It's nice because when it records you it tells you all the things you need to fix," said Krawl.

American Family Insurance says the program has reduced risky driving patterns of teens by 70 percent.

Office Manager Amber Gassman says the program works by reminding teens they're being watched and it gives parents an inside look into exactly what their children are doing behind the wheel.

"You think they're safe and ready to go on the road, but they are unsupervised," said Gassman. "Those are the most crucial times when they can get in those wrecks."

The program is free for American Family customers.

Other insurance companies we talked with have similar devices that are not video recordings, but still send driving data back to the customer.

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