Erie, PA, May 24, 2004--Erie Insurance Group and the Pennsylvania DUI Association are partnering to give teenagers a ride they won't soon forget--one that hopefully impacts their future decisions, prevents risky behaviors and ultimately saves lives in Pennsylvania and nearby states.
The Erie Insurance Lookin' Out Safety Bug was unveiled Monday, May 24, 2004, in Erie, Pa., as part of an innovative program developed by the Pennsylvania DUI Association and sponsored by Erie Insurance Group's safe teen driving program, Lookin' Out. The custom engineered Volkswagen Beetle allows teen drivers the real life experience of driving while impaired, without the real life risk.
Erie Insurance Group's President and Chief Executive Officer, Jeffrey A. Ludrof knows the perilous statistics regarding teens and driving. "As an insurer we've had the opportunity to see firsthand what can happen to inexperienced young drivers who are distracted or make poor decisions. We created Lookin' Out to proactively address such issues and it has been a success with nearly 20 Pennsylvania schools participating this year alone," Ludrof said. "The addition of the Erie Insurance Lookin' Out Safety Bug to our program will provide teens with an opportunity to gain real life experiences without the associated risks. We all know that life's lessons are best learned through experience. But, this lesson is one that experience can't teach without life-altering consequences."
Pennsylvania DUI Association's Executive Director Stephan Erni looks forward to the expansion the partnership will allow. "Through this affiliation with the Pennsylvania DUI Association, Erie Insurance Group has enabled our organization to broaden its educational outreach," said Erni. "They have made it possible for us to purchase an additional Safety Bug, the Erie Insurance Lookin' Out Safety Bug, to schedule more school visits and reach even more students."
About the Erie Insurance Lookin' Out Safety Bug
The Lookin' Out Safety Bug is a custom engineered Volkswagen Beetle that is designed to allow its driver to experience the loss of control an individual would realize if attempting to operate an automobile while in an impaired state.
Licensed teenage drivers experience the ride from behind the wheel, while an equally valuable lesson is provided to younger backseat passengers who realize their helpless position being along for the ride in the car of an impaired driver.
Students navigate the Lookin' Out Safety Bug through a pylon-marked course and try to control the steering and braking as the trained mentor in the front passenger seat alters the settings, causing the systems to lose their finesse, and allowing the teen to catch a glimpse of how it would feel to drive under the influence.
About Erie Insurance Group's Teen Driving Program, Lookin' Out
The Lookin' Out teen driving program was created by Erie Insurance Group to address the number one killer of teens--auto accidents. Lookin' Out seeks to educate young drivers and save lives. The Lookin' Out program is different from any other teen driving program because it uses positive peer reinforcement through messages created by students for their friends.
Lookin' Out schools operate their program through a student committee that is co-chaired by an Erie Insurance Agent and a faculty advisor. The high school students and the Agent work together to design an awareness program that addresses a variety of teen driving issues and distractions. They create a program specifically tailored to meet the needs of their school, and their friends. The success of Lookin' Out can be attributed to the students: the students create the messages for their friends--designed for teens, by teens.
Participating schools are eligible for a grant of up to $2,000 funded by Erie Insurance Group for implementing the Lookin' Out program. Currently, nearly 20 schools from 13 different counties in Pennsylvania participated in Lookin' Out during the 2003-2004 school year including:
For more information about ERIE's Lookin' Out program, log on to http://www.erieinsurance.com/LookinOut/index.html or call Erie Insurance at 814-870-7568.
Known for competitive rates and superior service, Erie Insurance Group is a leading property/casualty insurer in the United States. With more than 3.7 million policies in force, Erie Insurance Group includes seven companies operating in 11 states and the District of Columbia and is rated A+ (superior) by A.M. Best Company. Erie Indemnity Company (Nasdaq: ERIE) is the management company for Erie Insurance Group. Headquartered in Erie, Pa., since 1925, the ERIE provides auto, home, business and life insurance through more than 7,300 independent agents representing nearly 1,800 agencies. Erie Insurance Group ranks No. 368 among the FORTUNE 500 and is included in FORBES "Platinum 400" list of America's best-managed companies. For more information and a listing of independent agents representing The ERIE in your community, visit the company's Web site at http://www.erieinsurance.com/