What is SmartDrive?
SmartDrive is a free, online defensive driving course certified by the Delaware Insurance Commissioner’s Office. Its mission is simple, to reduce loss of life and property in senseless motor vehicle crashes by providing education, positive reinforcement and raising awareness among drivers via online and hands on skills training courses. SmartDrive works hand in hand with parents and schools to reach young drivers through assemblies, in school lunch recruitments, after school programs, and community events. SmartDrive offers insurance discounts, scholarships, incentives and Prom of After Prom money to reward students and schools for positive choices and outstanding performance. SmartDrive, is in its seventh year of operation and has served over 25,000 students in Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
The SmartDrive year runs from July 1 to March 31. Students may enroll and participate on a rolling basis throughout that time. Winners are announced during the month of April. Insurance discounts are reported every two weeks throughout the program year.
History, Mission, Funding & Desired Outcome
SmartDrive is a concept conceived by Delmarva Broadcasting Company and other concerned individuals and organizations in the state of Delaware in response to the senseless and preventable loss of life among our teens in Delaware resulting from poor driving decisions and practices. The desired outcome for SmartDrive is for a significant number of young drivers to make the right decisions every time they are behind the wheel so they will never put themselves, their passengers or their vehicles in harm’s way.
In order to achieve this mission, SmartDrive delivers a compelling message, a fun interactive approach, consistent application over time and significant incentives. The heart of the program is an online instructional program that is available to all high school students regionally. The program is administered by SmartDrive with assistance from school administrators and faculty, and other concerned public safety officials and educators from the public and private sectors in Delaware.
Students complete three monthly “modules” that include objective true and false, multiple choice and essay questions presented in an entertaining and challenging multimedia format. Students accumulate points as they complete the various sections. An essential part of this program is active parental involvement with their young drivers, so it is strongly suggested parents participate, and in doing so their children can earn bonus points toward the incentives. The winning student in each region in each school year receives a $4,000 post-secondary scholarship. Other students receive other cash and merchandise prizes. The three (3) schools with the highest percentage of participation in each region will win cash awards to be used for prom-related expenses.
As SmartDrive enters its seventh full year of operation, the program currently operates in 112 schools in Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland and one university, Wilmington University. The goal going forward is to expand operation in other states where appropriate.
SmartDrive is funded primarily through contributions from Delmarva Broadcasting Company and other commercial organizations. As a tax exempt organization, SmartDrive accepts additional funding from other public and private funding organizations at all levels that will support further expansion of program benefits to its existing users and facilitate expansion to additional communities.