US: teen driving monitoring system approved by 38 states image

Thirty eight states will take part in a new program that allows parents to install devices in their cars to limit cell phone calls and texting – and also monitor their teen’s driving behavior.

Auto insurer Esurance is introducing a new program that allows policyholders to install a device free of charge in their cars that helps prevent teens from texting and calling while driving. The program lets parents choose to create customized “block lists” that can stop specific cell phone activities when the car is in motion.

“Technology has enabled us to change the way people think about insurance, and today we are continuing that pioneering spirit with Esurance DriveSafe,” said Esurance President and CEO Gary Tolman. “This innovative device can help stop teens from texting while driving and make parents and their teens aware of, and hopefully reduce, risky driving behavior that can cause accidents.”

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said that the state’s Department of Financial Services approved the new program. Under Esurance’s new program, policyholders may install an in-car device into their teen’s car that in conjunction with an Esurance app installed on their teen driver’s phone, can limit the use of text, email, app usage, and phone calls while driving — with the exception of 911. The device can also monitor driving behavior, including speeding, hard braking and fast acceleration.