Watching your teen get behind the wheel of a car for the first time puts parents on a whole new highway of anxiety - especially with the dark backdrop of the distracted driving epidemic.
Distracted driving is a completely preventable peril that’s impacting drivers of all ages and levels of experience. It accounts for approximately 25% of all motor vehicle crash fatalities, with teen drivers being the largest demographic to report being distracted at the time of a fatal collision, according to TeenSafe – a company that offers smartphone monitoring capabilities for parents of children between the ages of seven and 17.
In light of the distracted driving epidemic, TeenSafe is developing a new tech product to help eliminate the problem among teens. The service enables parents to regulate what access their teenage driver has to certain devices when they’re behind the wheel. It also gives parents access to their child’s driving information and data, so they can mentor their teens into better and more responsible drivers.
“The whole point of this product is to help keep our kids stay safe on the road,” said Aaron Moore, head of channel sales at TeenSafe. “It’s a simple tool that parents can work from their smartphone, where they can regulate what their teen has access to on their devices. You can enable specific access to apps that might be relevant to driving, like maps and navigation tools, but block things like social media and messaging platforms that might be distracting.
“It brings other elements to the table as well. All parents want to know if their child arrived at their destination safely, and if they’re driving in a responsible manner. Our solution provides driving data to the parents, so they can provide feedback and mentor their teens about safe driving. It’s about putting control into the hands of the parents and enabling them to manage their kid’s driving responsibly. The overall goal is to teach good habits young.”
From an insurance perspective, safe driving habits should technically lead to a reduction in the frequency and severity of auto claims. Losses have inflated in recent years, partly due to the distracted driving problem.
As TeenSafe’s head of channel sales, Moore will lead the company’s outreach to insurance companies. TeenSafe can become a marketing partner with the insurer and put up a joint effort to reduce distracted driving and fatalities among teens. The product can also be used by carriers and brokers as an incentive tool, with the potential promise of rate decreases and deals if policyholders get on board.
“A common issue with telematics-based driving tools is that people don’t often want to share their data with their insurance carrier. They think they’re losing privacy by doing so,” Moore told Insurance Business. “The unique thing about TeenSafe and our drive product is that the data is not going to the carrier and it won’t have any impact on your insurance. It’s an educational tool for parents to use in a private setting with their teenager.”
TeenSafe’s drive product is being soft launched with a few carriers in the next few weeks. It should be fully rolled out across the US by the summer.