Being a safe driver leaves more money in your wallet

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- More and more car insurance companies are turning to programs that will benefit their customers for being safe drivers.

Here’s how it works. An electronic device on your vehicle records how you accelerate, how fast you brake, what time of day your car is driven and if you drive faster than 80-miles an hour. That information then gets sent to the company. And if you're a good driver, you could save some money.

The "Drive Safe and Save" program through State Farm is similar to the Progressive’s Snapshot program, and is designed to watch over the customers driving habits.

It rewards those drivers who are safe and cautious out on the roads.

"It's a policy holder's option to sign up for the program and what 'Drive Safe and Save' does is-it helps monitor your mileage," said Sam Gearing, State Farm agent in Menomonie.

By singing up for “Drive Safe and Save” program policy holders will be getting a device that reads the car's diagnostics as well as a Bluetooth device that allows you to use your cell phone in the car hands- free.

"It gives you services reminders, when your vehicle needs to be taken in for service. It also will give you a vehicle diagnostic, so if there is a problem with your vehicle it's going to give you heads-up ahead of time before the vehicle breaks down," said Gearing.

Jill Radtke has been using similar Snapshot from Progressive for almost a year.

“It was a challenge; I wanted to see for myself how good of a driver I am and just to see what discounts I could get for my company,” said Radtke.

"It (the device) shows your speed, it shows any red-line areas if you broke too fast, and it shows you the time of day that you drive; for example: do you drive at 5 o'clock in the morning, or do you drive at 2 o'clock in the morning." she continued.

Radtke considers herself a safe driver, but says with the device she was even more cautious.

"It does make you a safer driver, because you're more aware of what's going on around you and what you are doing. Having a so-called “Big Brother” watching you it's intimidating at first, but you happen to overcome it."

"When there are more people that are safer drivers there are fewer accidents and insurance companies prefer that,” said Gearing.

“I think it's a good option for people to have, but you have to want to do it, definitely,” said Radtke.

By signing up for the program customers will be getting a 5 present discount automatically, and after 100 days they can qualify for a better discount depending on their individual driving habits.

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