DriveCam lets parents keep tabs on kids' driving
Courtny Gerrish reports Video by tmj4.comvideo
It's one of the most agonizing times in a parent's life, when their teen starts driving. What if you could be in the back seat every time they get behind the wheel? New technology offers parents the next best thing, and it's free!
Click here to see Courtny Gerrish's story.
DriveCam lets parents keep an eye on their kids every time they drive. The video tells the story. Texting, searching for dropped food, falling asleep behind the wheel. All emailed to parents.
For Jayne Holland that video means peace of mind. Her 18-year-old son Charlie Sedli has been driving under the watchful eye of DriveCam for almost two years. Now Jayne admits, "I don't worry as much."
That was not the case when Charlie first got his license. "I was very nervous from the beginning. I was actually frantic." Being able to check up on what he's doing on the road has helped. Once a week Jayne gets Charlie's driving videos and a breakdown of what he did wrong.
DriveCam is a camera mounted by the rear view mirror that's ready to roll on any mistake. Like the hard corners and hard braking we had Charlie do in an empty parking lot to trigger the video. A blinking light means his "bad driving" was recorded.
Charlie tolerates DriveCam so he can keep using his mom's car, but it is keeping him honest. Charlie told us, "I do whip around corners, I'll be honest. I do come to stops hard every now and then."
At first Charlie decided to "skew" the system, "at the beginning I just didn't care and wanted to see what it would do." DriveCam is based on points; Charlie racked up 50 something a week, on purpose. Then he got serious and is now in the national average staying between a 3 and a 5.
American Family Insurance agent, Sherry Yusuf, says not every parent is a fan. "Some parents feel that it's an invasion of privacy." But she also points out many of those parents eventually change their mind. "There's a lot going on radio, ipad, texting even though it's illegal, kids still do it. It's just a lifesaver to have this camera."
DriveCam is free for the first year through American Family. In the end, it can save families money. "If they can minimize the number of incidents that they have later on that's going to pay off in the long run when it comes to rates," Yusuf told us.
Charlie claims to be a good driver, "I haven't gotten in any accidents so we're all good." With the camera always watching he knows there are consequences and will even admit it's not all bad. "The DriveCam just kind of pokes you every now and then like 'hey watch that.' "
The goal of DriveCam is to teach good driving behavior, and Parents use the videos as a teaching tool. Charlie is happy to report he only has one month to go. He starts at UW-Milwaukee in August and won't be using mom's car that often.