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Driver Surveillance = Safer Roads?

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and as many of us know, texting and driving is extremely dangerous and against the law. Still, if you look around at other drivers, it’s likely you’ll find at least one person fumbling with their phone. Tickets have been issued, preventable accidents have occurred, but it doesn’t seem to be enough.

It is well known that security cameras and surveillance systems can help to keep your property safe, whether it is your business, home, or even public areas. But it seems surveillance is now being used to keep drivers and the roads safe, too.

We’ve all heard of car insurance companies offering “good driver” discounts. Definitions vary from company to company, but generally mean that your driving record stays relatively clean with no accidents. Now, thanks to advanced technology, car insurance companies are taking it a step further by employing voluntary driver-monitoring programs, also known as telematics or usage-based insurance surveillance. For example, Progressive is rolling out their Snapshot Program.

With this Snapshot program, customers voluntarily install a small box onto their steering wheel that collects data, which is then sent back to the company. This device tracks things like how many miles you drive, how often you drive during different times of the day, your braking patterns, and so on.

With their Snapshot telematics, they will analyze your driving habits and your rates will be determined as they see fit. But it seems this program isn’t only targeted toward “good drivers”. Those they deem “good drivers” will still be offered a discount, however, those who they deem as “bad” or aggressive drivers will be issued a surcharge, which is estimated to be no more than 10% of their current rate. Will this monetary punishment encourage drivers to be more cautious?

Share your thoughts on Progressive’s Snapshot program and overall driver surveillance with us. You can find us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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