Wednesday, October 15, 2014

New App Does the Math on Risk for Teen Drivers

ADEPT Driver, the maker of teenSMART, released a new risk calculator app called the Risk-O-lator™ that teen drivers and parents can use to measure the increased risk of being involved in a collision based on choices made by teen drivers. The free mobile app is available for download in advance of National Teen Driver Safety Week (October 19-25).

Using the Risk-O-lator app, teen drivers can test their knowledge about risky driving behavior. The Risk-O-lator calculates how risks for teen drivers are increased and compounded by activities such as texting while driving, speeding, tailgating, driving at night, or driving with other teens in the car. Using the Risk-O-lator, teen drivers can determine how taking multiple risks at the same time, such as texting and tailgating can significantly increase the chance that a teen will be involved in a collision. By decreasing or avoiding these risks, teen drivers can decrease their chance of a collision.

"We created the Risk-O-lator app to do the math on risky driving," said Dr. Richard Harkness, neurocognitive psychologist and CEO of ADEPT Driver. "Many teen drivers don't understand that doing things like texting, driving with other teens in the car, or tailgating can dramatically compound their driving risk. Doing any of those things at the same time makes the risk add up even faster. Drivers can control most of the risk factors by how they behave when they are behind the wheel. The Risk-O-lator shows drivers how their actions can multiply risk, so they can make the smartest, safest driving choices."

The Risk-O-lator app can be downloaded for free through the Google Play Store and is coming soon to the Apple App Store. The Risk-O-lator and additional driving safety assessment tools are also available on the teenSMART Test Drive web page. Parents, driver education teachers and driving schools are encouraged to share these tools with their students.

National Teen Driver Safety Week is a national awareness campaign recognized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Safety Council, and many other safety organizations to raise awareness about the dangers of unsafe driving for teens. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 14-18 year olds in the U.S., and teen drivers have the highest percentage of auto crashes of any drivers. In fact, almost half of the teen drivers involved in a crash die. Yet, only a small percentage of parents have had a serious talk with their kids about the key components and risks of driving.

"Parents of every teen driver should ask their child to download the Risk-O-later, and discuss how to avoid activities that increase and compound risk while driving,"Dr. Harkness continued.

Background: teenSMART is a driver safety and crash reduction program that specifically addresses the most common factors in crashes involving teen drivers: speed control, space management, risk perception, visual search and memory, hazard recognition, lifestyle issues and distracted driving.

Reviews by insurance company actuaries over the last 12 years verify that teenSMART graduates have fewer crashes, with less severe outcomes.

Because of teenSMART's proven effectiveness in reducing teen driving crashes, many insurance companies offer discounts on teen driver insurance policies to young drivers that complete the teenSMART program.