Young Drivers Can Gain Safety Skills, Save Money

Breakthrough driver training simulation program coming to Toronto
Royal & SunAlliance Canada to offer substantial insurance rebates to graduates

(Toronto, ON – May 4, 2005) Royal & SunAlliance Canada and Drive for Life Inc. today announced the availability of a new driver training program designed to provide real-world skills and insurance discounts for families of young drivers. The Drive for Life training program uses a driving simulator equipped with dynamic front, rear and side-view mirrors to teach young drivers the defensive driving techniques required when faced with challenging, high-risk driving scenarios.  

In recognition of the safety skills young drivers will acquire in Drive for Life training, Royal & SunAlliance, Western Assurance Company and Ascentus Insurance Ltd. will offer graduates of the program discounted rates on automobile insurance premiums for each of their first four years on the road.  The savings  can amount to as much as 30 per cent in year one, then 19 per cent for the second year, and 15 per cent for each of the third and fourth years.*

“The complexity of today’s driving environment means that drivers need enhanced skills to deal with the challenging situations,” said John Williamson, Managing Director of Drive for Life.  “Experience is one of the most important factors in driving and our highly realistic simulator training environment can provide drivers with this experience quickly and safely.”

Prepare for High Risk Driving

Although the number of deaths and injuries has declined, road crashes remain the leading cause of death for young people in Canada.  According to Transport Canada’s 2003 Canadian motor vehicle traffic collision statistics, drivers aged 16-24 accounted for 22.6% of driver fatalities and 24.6% of driver serious injuries, despite the fact that drivers in the age group only accounted for 13% of licensed drivers. Many of these collisions are the result of difficult – or new – driving conditions.

Drive for Life uses state-of-the-art simulator technology that teaches young drivers how to handle a wide range of driving situations including challenges in urban, rural, suburban, and highway environments - for example, practicing driving in slippery winter conditions and dealing with aggressive drivers and road rage. The simulators are powered by the next generation of scenario software that uses Drive for Life’s proprietary SPOT technique: Scan, Predict, Options, and Take action. Previously available for commercial, military, transit and emergency services drivers, this technique has proven to dramatically improve driving skills, resulting in lower accident rates.

Royal & SunAlliance Insurance Savings

Drive for Life is the first product to be launched as part of Royal & SunAlliance Canada’s StartSmart™ program, a group of insurance products with a focus on safety and designed to protect the interests of families with young drivers.  Royal & SunAlliance Canada wants your family to be better prepared for driving surprises, and help new drivers avoid common, but dangerous, mistakes.  StartSmart reinforces accident prevention by providing the insurance products and discounts to encourage safe driving behaviour.

According to Shawn DeSantis, Vice President of Personal Insurance at Royal & SunAlliance Canada, investing in Drive for Life could be one of the smartest investments families with young drivers can make. 

DeSantis says: “As a company that gets involved in our communities, we want to ensure young drivers have the right skills to begin their driving careers, and make it easier for parents to hand over the car keys to their young son or daughter. We are excited to be able to reward those people who are committed to safe driving with these insurance savings.”

The savings are substantial – so the training program pays for itself in anywhere from one to four years, depending on the insurance class of the new driver. For example, a 17 year old male licensed one year, driving a 2005 Toyota Camry as a secondary driver in Mississauga, would save over $350 on premiums in the first year alone with completion of Drive for Life simulator training. 

The first Canadian Drive for Life training simulator centre is now open to the public in Mississauga at the Sheridan Centre, 2225 Erin Mills Parkway. Additional  sites may be added in the future. For more information about hours, location and training courses visit, or call 905-822-0111. 

About Drive for Life

Drive for Life is a breakthrough training approach for automobile drivers to improve their driving abilities. Using state-of-the-art simulator technology, drivers are exposed to a wide-range of high-risk driving situations, in a safe and effective environment.  Using Drive for Life’s proprietary SPOT technique: Scan, Predict, Options, and Take action – drivers learn how to effectively anticipate and react to different high risk driving situations.  Drive for Life is a Toronto based company that is leading the development of simulator training environments for automobile drivers. 

About Royal & SunAlliance Canada

The Royal & SunAlliance Canada group includes Roins Financial Services Limited, Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada, Quebec Assurance Company, Johnson Inc., Western Assurance Company, Ascentus Insurance Ltd. and is part of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Group plc. The Royal & SunAlliance Canada group employs more than 2,400 people and is represented by a large network of independent brokers across the country. In 2004, the Canadian Group wrote $1.4 billion in direct premiums with assets exceeding $4 billion. Internationally, Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Group plc employs about 29,000 people and transacts business in more than 130 countries with assets of approximately $55 billion.  For more information, visit

* Stated discount rates are for newly licensed drivers only.  The applicability of discounts depends on accident and conviction record. Discounts are from the price that would otherwise be offered by the insurer to that driver for the identical products.  The actual wordings of a policy, local law and rate regulations govern all situations.

John Williamson
Managing Director
Drive for Life
Phone: 905-822-0111

Christine Siemiernik
Communications Consultant
Royal & SunAlliance Canada

Lisa Naccarato
Senior Consultant
Hill & Knowlton Canada
Phone: (416) 413-4614




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