Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Jul 19, 2021

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State Farm Driver Feedback

When it comes to distracted driving, there are few things that have the ability to cause distractions like mobile phones. While many car insurance companies provide smartphone applications that offer policy service, State Farm’s Driver Feedback app, currently available for devices running Apple iOS, including iPhones and iPod touch models, has a different goal than being an outlet for customer service. This app aims to make you a better driver.

How to Get Started with State Farm’s Driver Feedback App

State Farm’s Driver Feedback or State Farm Drive Safe and Save looks to measure three of driving behaviors that have been singled out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as some of the riskiest: accelerating too quickly, braking too hard and cornering too fast, or as State Farm calls them, the ABCs of driving.

There are two options to start using the app – you can sign in with your phone and app (make sure Bluetooth and location services are turned on) or you can use your car Onstar system (if you have one).

Driving at a safe speed is very important for keeping a safe distance between your car and the one in front of you. If you drive more than 8 miles per hour, you are not considered a safe driver and the app takes notice of that.

The technology can also track your cell phone usage while driving. Therefore you should avoid using your phone for your own safety and at the same time increase your insurance discounts. You should also avoid heavy traffic and driving at rush hour or late-night traffic.

The application Drive Safe and Save utilizes the accelerometer within iOS devices to record your acceleration, braking and cornering. Each of these three factors are measured and recorded, and the application awards scores for each of them, as well as an overall score that averages the three out. Getting a good score will save you money on auto insurance.

State Farm Driver Feedback
Calibration takes just a few seconds when recording a trip.

Tracking your driving habits is done by recording trips. Once you set the program to record, you simply place your device on a flat surface or just drop it into a cup holder. Either will work, as long as the phone or iPod is pointing towards the front of the car. The program then calibrates based on its position.

Aiming for non-distraction, here’s what you see while recording a trip.

Since smartphones can be such distractions, once the program goes into record mode, you’re simply given a black screen with a large button to stop recording.

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How to Review and Compare Trips

Once you’ve recorded a couple of trips, you can see how the Drive Safe and Save app ranks your driving, which is where the mobile application shines. You can review individual trips, and for GPS enabled devices such as iPhones, specific incidents of concern are even displayed on a map.

Dashboard showing all of your trips, averaged

Trips can be compared to each other.

Specific issues are singled out on your trips and even noted on a map of your journey.

Are there any Shortfalls and Limitations?

For policyholders who are hoping to utilize the Drive Safe and Save app for savings on their car insurance, we’re afraid to report that State Farm doesn’t track your data. This application is just for personal use. Come to think of it, for some, the fact that the insurer doesn’t track your performance may be a good thing.

The application is also very limited. It doesn’t take into account things like speeding, despite measuring rate of acceleration. We were able to post our best score on a trip down Interstate 75 well above the speed limit. It also will dock your score for acceleration if you’re entering an freeway and attempting to get up to speed before you leave your onramp.

However, as a bonus, multiple drivers can use the same device, so you’re not limited to simply comparing your own performance. You can compare your driving performance to your spouse, other family members, or even your friends.

If you have a low estimated annual mileage discount, and the Drive Safe and Save app reveals that you are driving more, you may get increased insurance premiums when renewing your auto insurance policy.

Our Final Word

While the application isn’t without issues, there are some benefits to be gained by use of the Driver Feedback mobile app or Drive Safe and Save, especially since State Farm provides the application for free. Keep in mind that there are other ways to save money on your insurance rate with State Farm. The company offers a number of auto insurance discounts you might be entitled to, including one for having safety features, like an anti-theft device on your vehicle. You can also receive a discount for bundling your auto insurance policy with a homeowners/renters insurance or life insurance policy. These discounts and usage-based insurance programs like the Driver Feedback app are available from a number of auto insurance companies, so if you do not have an affordable auto insurance premium with State Farm, make sure to shop around and get auto insurance quotes from multiple companies.

If you have an iPhone or iPod touch and want to try the application out, you can download State Farm Driver Feedback from iTunes.