Close Menu X

How Can We Help?

Insurance device targeting teen distraction approved in New York

The New York State Department of Financial Services has just approved a voluntary program through the insurance company Esurance that allows parents to block certain types of cellphone use when a car is in motion. The program, called “DriveSafe,” gives policyholders of the Allstate subsidiary to install a free device on the cars their teen drivers use. When a corresponding app is installed on the teen’s phone, the device communicates with the phone, blocking its use for certain purposes. It can also monitor teens’ driving behavior.

The program fits neatly within one of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s top safety priorities: increasing drivers’ awareness of the dangers of texting while driving. While the drunk driving rate has been declining overall, his office says, the rate at which drivers are using cellphones to talk, text, access the Internet or perform other distracting activities continues to grow.

Between 2005 and 2011, according to a DFS press release, the rate of distracted-driving accidents in New York skyrocketed by some 143 percent. In 2011 alone, there were 25,165 crashes involving injuries and fatalities attributed to distracted driving in the state -- more than five times as many as were caused by drunk driving.

The number of texting-while-driving tickets issued by New York law enforcement also jumped -- by 234 percent -- between 2011 and 2012. While that undoubtedly represents increased enforcement efforts, the number of drunk-driving arrests dropped by 4 percent over the same period.

Esurance’s DriveSafe devices and app are free for policyholders who have teen drivers between 15 and 19 on their policies. Parents can customize the technology to block a range of phone activities while the vehicle is in motion, including texting, emailing, app use, and phone calls to numbers other than 911. It can also keep a record of driving behaviors such as hard braking, quick acceleration and speeding, which parents can access online.

Texting while driving is not limited to teen drivers by any means, of course. It might be a good idea for all drivers to consider similar measures to manage their own temptation to engage in distracting behaviors -- and to take a hard look at their own driving habits. Please drive safely.

Source: Insurance Journal, "N.Y. Approves Esurance Program Aimed at Preventing Teen Texting and Driving," Dec. 18, 2013

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Our Awards and Accolades

    • The Best Lawyers in America
    • The National Trail Lawyers | Top 100 | Trail Lawyers
    • Newsweek Leaders In Showcase Personal Injury | 2011
    • Lawyers of Distinction | 2018
    • 2014 | Litigator Awards | Ranked Top 1% of Lawyers
    • Nation's Premier | NAOPIA | Top Ten Attorney | Personal Injury
    • American Law Society | Official Home of America's Top Lawyers
    • Best Lawyers | Best Law Firms | U.S.News & News Report | Rankings
    • New York Law Journal | 2015 Verdicts & Settlements | Hall of Fame | Motor Vehicle | Sakkas, Cahn & Weiss, LLP | Top 20 Verdict
    • Million Dollar Advocates Forum
    • Verdict Search's | Top NY Verdicts
    • Certified
    • National Association of Distinguished Counsel | Nation's Top One Percent | NADC
    • 2016 | Litigation Elite - Top 100 Trail Lawyers
    • Martindale-Hubbell | Distinguished | Peer Rated for High Professional Achievement | 2017
    • Who's who Legal | WWL
    • The National Advocates | Top 100 Lawyers
    • America's Top 100 Attorneys | Top 100
    • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trail Lawyers
    • Best Lawyers | 2021
    • Super Lawyers
    • Best Law Firms of America | LifeTime Member
    • Avvo | 10.0 | Superb | Top Attorney Personal Injury
Email Our Attorneys

Have Questions? Get A Free Case Review

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy