- Esurance's DriveSafe program uses technology and an app that lets parents track their teen's driving habits.
- Parents may discover unsafe driving behaviors like speeding and texting, Web browsing and cell phone use when the car is in motion.
- Information will remain private from insurance agents and does not affect insurance rates, Esurance said.
SAN FRANCISCO — An insurance company is helping parents track their teen driver and prevent them from texting while driving.
Esurance, through its DriveSafe program, provides a telematics device that parents can install in the onboard diagnostics port of the car their teen drives most. With the help of an app downloaded on the teen's smartphone, it uses Bluetooth and cellular technology to monitor the teen's driving habits and limit texting, Web browsing and cell phone use when the car is in motion.
Mom or dad may parent from afar with the help of the technology as well. They can set preferences, opt in for customized alerts about unsafe driving behaviors like driving past curfew, speeding or braking too hard, and review trip details to see where their teen may need some extra coaching.
The Big Brother aspect of this program shouldn't deter users. While the device tracks data such as phone usage, the car's speed, acceleration and any instances of hard braking, as well as mileage, location and the time of each trip, Esurance assures the information will remain private from its insurance agents and not impact a customer's insurance rates.
"It is essential that we do all we can to help teen drivers develop safe driving habits and avoid the dangers of distracted driving," said California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, in a statement. "Esurance DriveSafe provides parents with the coaching tools they need to help their teenage drivers become safer and more responsible behind the wheel."
Edmunds says: Trust isn't always a perfect tool for parents when their child gets behind the wheel. This new device reveals the mysteries of what happens after they hand the keys over.