DRS Bonus Education Session

  • AutoCoach 2.0 – An Innovative App to Teach Parents of Teens with Cognitive & Physical Disabilities How to Drive

    Emma Harrington, Matt Abisamra, Dan Allison | Thursday, March 7, 2019 | 11 a.m - 12 p.m. 1 CEU

    Teens are a vulnerable population when it comes to driving- as car crashes are the leading cause of death among young adults. After nearly a decade of decreasing motor vehicle fatalities, recent crash data indicates a deadly reversal of this trend. To combat this Shepherd Center’s certified driver rehabilitation specialists used their specialized training to create AutoCoach, an innovative app that makes it easier for adults to effectively teach their teens to drive defensively and safely. This year, in partnership with the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and CapTech, Shepherd Center will launch AutoCoach 2.0. This second incarnation of the app will be geared towards parents of teens with both physical and cognitive disabilities. As the leading brain and spinal cord injury hospital in America, Shepherd has a responsibility to not only tackle our number one mechanism of injury, but to focus our injury prevention efforts towards the population that we serve.  An important protective factor for all teen drivers is a comprehensive behind the wheel training, and we believe this should be available for all families. Currently, there is a gap in the market for driving apps geared towards teens with disabilities- we believe our app could help reduce that issue of access. AutoCoach 2.0 will continue to track training hours, as well as nighttime hours, which is usually a prerequisite for obtaining a driver’s license. AutoCoach is available nationwide for a free download in the Apple App and Google Play stores. Features of AutoCoach include a customizable parent-teen agreement, a graduated driver’s licensing quiz by state, distraction notifications, a driving log and a revised curriculum based on best practices. AutoCoach 2.0 will enhance these features based on the last year of usage and user feedback.