October 01, 2012

Erie Insurance is attempting to reach teens with a safe driving message through an online contest that leans heavily on social media.

Students interested in acquiring contest points for themselves and their school sign up at jointheshift.org and gain points by taking certain actions — and can increase those points by sharing that they've taken the action on Facebook.

For example, registering at the website yields 200 points. Sharing that activity adds another 100. Users can also gain points by sharing content from the site, as well as making and voting on user-generated videos.

"Inexperience combined with a never ending list of distractions can add up to a deadly combination for teen drivers," said Karen Kraus Phillips, vice president at Erie Insurance, in a statement. "Our goal is to reduce the high number of teen injuries and deaths that happen on the road every year. We think we've found an engaging way for teens to spread the word about protecting themselves on the road."

Erie will award about $20,000 in total prizes, including $1,500 to the individual student with the most points and $5,000 to the school with the most points.

Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, ...