State Farm launches new app that lets people use their smartphone to become better drivers

Scoring system encourages parents and teens to share teachable moments by competing for best scores

Bloomington, Ill., April 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — For most people, using a smartphone while driving is the last thing anyone would want to encourage in the interest of safe driving. But today, State Farm is launching a new free mobile application, Driver Feedback™, which turns a person’s cell phone into a pocket-sized driving coach. The application, available for iPhone and iPod touch, provides users individual feedback about their driving habits and then offers tips on how people can drive more safely.

Research shows that certain driving habits can increase the risk of a car crash. The Driver Feedback app uses the device’s accelerometer to measure three essential driving behaviors:

  • Acceleration
  • Braking
  • Cornering

When activated, at the end of each trip, the driver is provided a score and a log of potentially dangerous driving activities. If the app detects especially risky driving behaviors it provides the driver tips for improvement.

Key features of the new Driver Feedback app include:

  • The ability to record trips and receive feedback on driving performance
  • A map illustrating where potentially dangerous activities occurred
  • The ability for drivers to compare their scores, or track the progress of an individual driver
  • A trip completion notification allowing a driver to send a text or email to someone when they safely complete their trip
  • Multi-trip average scores (up to five) to track progress

Teaching Tool for Parents

The “Driver Feedback” app is particularly useful for parents teaching teens how to drive. It offers teen drivers and their parents access to useful non-biased driving feedback, to help families have constructive conversations about safe driving. In addition, the app can be a useful and objective tool to help assess a teen’s readiness for independent driving.

Experienced drivers may benefit from this app, too. Research from the National Highway Traffic Administration¹ has shown that hard acceleration, deceleration and cornering are associated with higher crash risk. The Driver Feedback app can help identify problem areas, providing drivers of any age with useful tips to help reduce the risk of crashes.

The Driver Feedback app is currently available for iPhone and iPod touch and is free for anyone to download. Information on the app remains with the user and is not collected or used by State Farm.

This app is one in a series of mobile and online resources State Farm makes available to people interested in becoming a better driver. Learn more at statefarm.com/mobile.



¹ Sourced from NHTSA Report DOT HS 811 091 Klauer, S. G., Dingus, T. A., Neale, V. L., Sudweeks, J. D., and Ramsey, D. J.(2009) Comparing Real-World Behaviors of Drivers With High versus Low Rates of Crashes and Near-Crashes DOT HS 811 00