News Releases

Local Insurance Company Officer to Co-Chair International Autonomous Vehicles Consortium

NJM Insurance Group's public affairs director to lead committee organized by Safe Kids Worldwide

May 21, 2019

WEST TRENTON, NJ — NJM Insurance Group (NJM), one of the Mid-Atlantic Region's leading teen driver safety advocates, announced today that Public Affairs Director John Hardiman has been selected to chair the Children in Autonomous Vehicles Consortium's Public Information & Education Working Group. In this role, he will direct the committee as it works to provide guidance to those who are developing regulations, legislation, policies, and best practices around AVs.

Organized by Safe Kids Worldwide, a nonprofit organization working to help families and communities keep kids safe from injuries, the Consortium will pioneer a joint effort between leading traffic safety advocates, researchers, academia, injury prevention, and other experts to ensure the safety of children in the evolving field of AVs.

"NJM's dedication to safety dates back to its founding more than 106 years ago," said Tracy McManimon, NJM's senior vice president & chief underwriting officer. "Today it includes a nationally recognized teen driver safety program and a continuing commitment to reducing injuries in the workplace.

AVs are already being tested on roads in more than two dozen communities nationwide. The Public Information & Education Working Group is charged with influencing the development of standardized messaging and use of consistent language as new information and education informs front-line, grassroots communicators — such as child passenger safety technicians, first responders, and law enforcement officers — on the features and safety issues relevant to AVs and child occupants. NJM has established positive relationships with a variety of these important groups — as well as organizations like the Pennsylvania DUI Association, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey, New Jersey Teen Driving Coalition, New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, and many more — through years of promoting safety in the communities it serves.

"While we don't yet know when autonomous vehicles will be widely available, we know it's a matter of when, not if," said Hardiman. "It's important to lay the groundwork for AV safety now, particularly for the most vulnerable passengers. I look forward to leading these important discussions as we move closer to the reality of AVs, and playing a role on behalf of NJM in helping to keep children safe in them."

A 25-year employee at NJM, Hardiman currently serves on the boards of directors of the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and the Highway Loss Data Institute.

NJM has long been a leader in the auto safety space, most notably through its award-winning Teen Driver Safety Program. Included in the Program is "Share the Keys," a research-based driver education program designed to provide parents and their teen drivers with the tools and resources they need to build and reinforce safe driving habits. The program is available at no cost to high schools in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and has been proven to effectively reduce teen driver crash risks by encouraging active parental involvement. According to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Center for Injury Research and Prevention, parents can reduce their teen's crash risk by as much as 50 percent when they set rules, offer support, and monitor their teen's driving.

About NJM Insurance Group

NJM is among the Mid-Atlantic's leading property and casualty insurers. One of the Company's core values is to support the communities it's privileged to serve, a value exercised through year-round employee volunteer efforts at local non-profits and a formal corporate giving program. Headquartered in West Trenton, NJ, with locations in Hammonton and Parsippany, NJM employs nearly 2,500 workers and operates in a mutual fashion for the exclusive benefit of its policyholders. For more information, visit NJM.com.