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Liberty Mutual Teen Driving Website Offers New Family Communication Tools to Promote Driving Safety
Date:10/19/2009

BOSTON, Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Helping teens maintain safe driving habits starts at home with open communication between parents and young drivers. According to past Liberty Mutual/SADD research, teens of parents who establish clear consequences for breaking family rules of the road are less likely to drive under the influence of alcohol (16 percent vs. 29 percent) or speed (44 percent vs. 56 percent) than those without set consequences. To encourage family communication about safe driving during National Teen Driver Safety Week (October 18-24) and year-round, Liberty Mutual Insurance created new tools available at www.LibertyMutualTeenDriving.com that help facilitate responsible driving conversations between parents and teens.

"Nearly 60 percent of high school students say their parents are the biggest influence on their driving," said Dave Melton, a driving safety expert with the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety. "Open communication about responsible driving makes teens more confident on the road and parents more comfortable with entrusting their teens with the family car."

Liberty Mutual's new online tools are designed to spark family discussions about the importance of safe driving. Chief among these is a customizable Family Ground Rules tool that provides a framework for parents and teens to set and agree to specific rules around key safe driving issues such as speeding, the number of passengers in the car, cell phone usage, texting while driving and curfews. Upon acceptance, these ground rules -- with mutually agreed upon rewards and consequences -- can be printed and posted on the refrigerator so parents and teens can refer back to them throughout the year.

The website also now features a Car Scheduler that enables teens to request a date and time when they would like to borrow the car. To further promote responsible driving conversations, teens are prompted to review and agree to their customized family safe driving rules before each request is submitted.

"When parents and teens build their safe driving plans together, they avoid miscommunication and mismanaged expectations," said Stephen Wallace, SADD Chairman and CEO. "Although these tools live online, they are designed to prompt effective, face-to-face communication between teens and their parents, which we know leads to safer driving behaviors."

Teens also can use the website to remind their parents about driving safety by taking a 10-question driving quiz at www.LibertyMutualTeenDriving.com and then challenging Mom and Dad to match or beat their score. And parents can use the encouragement: a Liberty Mutual survey this summer revealed that 69 percent of parents of teen drivers report they practice at least two dangerous or distracting behaviors while driving, and nearly half (49 percent) do at least three.

Since 1991, Liberty Mutual and SADD have collaborated on research and responsible solutions to keep families safe behind the wheel. In addition to these new communication tools, LibertyMutualTeenDriving.com also features helpful resources, such as a customizable parent/teen safe driving contract created by SADD; tips on how to talk to teens about driving distractions and dangers such as cell phones, text messaging, speeding, and alcohol and drug use; video demonstrations of safe driving techniques; state-by-state teen driving laws; individual car safety scores; tips on buying and caring for a car; and an exclusive 50 percent discount for teens to take the National Safety Council's online Defensive Driving Course.

About Liberty Mutual Group

"Helping people live safer, more secure lives" since 1912, Boston-based Liberty Mutual Group (www.LibertyMutualGroup.com) is a diversified global insurer and fifth-largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on 2008 direct written premium. Liberty Mutual Group ranks 86th on the Fortune 500 list of largest U.S. corporations, based on 2008 revenue. The company has over 45,000 employees located in more than 900 offices throughout the world.

The eighth-largest auto and home insurer in the U.S., Liberty Mutual (www.libertymutual.com) sells full lines of coverage for automobile, homeowners, valuable possessions, personal liability, and individual life insurance. The company is an industry leader in affinity partnerships, offering car and home insurance to employees and members of more than 12,000 companies, credit unions, professional associations and alumni groups.

About SADD

For more than 27 years, SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) has been committed to empowering young people to lead education and prevention initiatives in their schools and communities. Founded as Students Against Drunk Driving in 1981, SADD (www.sadd.org) has become the nation's preeminent peer-to-peer youth education, prevention and activism organization, with nearly 10,000 chapters in middle schools, high schools, and colleges nationwide. SADD now highlights prevention of many destructive behaviors that are harmful to young people, including underage drinking, substance abuse, risky and impaired driving, and teen violence and suicide.

SOURCE Liberty Mutual


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SOURCE Liberty Mutual
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