Insurance Rates for Drivers Increase Due to Distracted Driving

According to the Wall Street Journal car insurers and are finding their payouts are rising faster than their insurance rates. And a chief culprit, according to analysis by State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance, is smartphones—with over half of drivers aged 18 to 29 admitting to texting and Internet browsing while at the controls of their car. The result: more accidents now occur because people play with their phones, and those incidents are pushing premium prices up.

The problem is more serious than a minor bump every time someone checks Facebook on the highway. Last year, statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that the number of fatalities in accidents where distracted driving—the result of, say, texting on a cell phone, but also sipping at an iced coffee—was cited as a reason have risen by 8.8 percent year-on-year, from 3,197 to 3,477. You can read more here:


Is texting and driving illegal in your state? The IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) has updated their data regarding whether texting and driving is illegal in each state as well as cell phone use legality.

Talking on a cell phone while driving is not allowed in 15 states and in Washington D.C..

Cell phone use by new drivers is limited in 38 states and Washington D.C..

Texting while driving is completely illegal in 47 states and in the District of Columbia. Missouri, one of the few states that allowed texting while driving, limits novice drivers from texting and driving.

Certain areas have implemented their own bans on the use of cell phone use and texting while driving. In the majority of states, school bus drivers are completely banned from texting and using cell phone use while driving either by state code, regulation or school district policy.

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IIHS 2018 Map of What States Have Banned Cell Phone Use While Driving

The map above displays the states that have included cell phone laws as of 2018, and whether or not that specific state bans texting and driving. The map also shows if the laws are enforced as primary or secondary laws. Secondary laws mean if an officer has another reason for pulling someone over other than the use of cellphones while driving but will still cite a driver for use of cell phone. Any laws without that restriction are called primary law.

The Sentinel device provides parents and teens an opportunity to prevent cell phone use while driving. Texting and driving can be more dangerous than drinking and driving and have led to lethal or high-injury accidents. The Sentinel device helps your teen or loved one practice safe driving habits. If your driver uses their cell phone, an alert and voice notification will be sent to the device owner and to the driver to stop using the cell phone.

Don’t wait for your loved one to become a statistic. Click to get started with your Sentinel Device today.

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There are many apps claiming to combat the problem of distracting driving, but fail to address the distractions created by passenger cell phone use. An all too common practice, particularly with teen drivers, is passengers viewing social media, videos and even showing the driver their phones while enjoying the ride. This takes the driver’s attention from the road and increases the likelihood of an accident.

Sentinel addresses this problem by detecting, alerting and reporting all cell phone use inside a vehicle. This is just one of the many features found in Sentinel that helps cultivate safer driving habits. Find out more:

Most smartphone users know about the Airplane mode setting on their phone which disables functions. The name of the setting likely stems from airline policies of asking passengers to switch their phones off during flights. A growing concern, however, is that this mode should be used not just for airline flights, but driving as well.

Sentinel has joined an effort to ask mobile phone manufacturers to change the name of Airplane Mode to “Airplane / Drive Mode” to remind drivers that it’s never safe to drive with the distractions of a smartphone. Sentinel is asking everyone to help make our roads safer by joining in this effort.

Here are some facts about distracted driving and how switching to airplane mode / drive mode can help:

  • 1 out of every 4 car crashes in the United States is caused by cellphone use while driving.
  • The majority of car crashes involve drivers distracted while talking on handheld or hands-free cellphones.
  • Texting while driving is 6 times more likely to cause a car crash than driving drunk.
  • Answering a text takes away your attention for about five seconds. Traveling at 55 mph, that’s enough time to travel the length of a football field.

We Save Lives is a non-profit organization based in Arlington, VA. Their mission is to support and promote solution driven policies and programs that save lives by changing dangerous driving choices through viral awareness, education, advocacy and partnerships.

Sentinel is a smart distracted driving telematics device that helps drivers keep from using their cell phones while driving. Based out of Madison, Mississippi, the Sentinel prevents texting and driving and cell phone use while driving by sending alert messages to the driver and the parents to stop using the cell phone.

For more information about the Sentinel and We Save Lives campaign or to sign the petition, go to

Distracted Driving Video in Florida

An interesting, and revealing, distracted driving video posted on YouTube clearly shows the dangerous prevalence of distracted driving on roadways. The video is a time lapse of 20 minutes recording normal traffic at a location along Interstate 95 in south Florida. The video team identified whether drivers were distracted – some by texting, some by talking on their phone – and indicated it on the video. In all, the video displays how often distracted driving occurs. Keep in mind, this is one video, of one section, of one highway, in one state. Distracted driving occurs more often than many people think.

See the video here:

The Sentinel device is a telematics product developed for distracted driving in mind. The Sentinel will assist drivers in developing better driving habits by keeping their eyes on the road. Distracted driving like texting while driving, cell phone use while driving, and web browsing while driving lead to a higher rate in auto accidents.

Don’t wait for your teenager or loved one to become an auto accident statistic:

Get Started Today

U.S. Traffic Deaths on the Rise and so is Distracted Driving

According to a recent New York Times article (2/15/17), the National Safety Council reports that 40,200 people died in vehicle accidents in 2016. That’s a 6 percent increase from the year before. Even more alarming is that for the first time in the past decade have more than 40,000 people died in motor vehicle accidents in a single year. A big contributor is distracted driving.

Last year (2016), the NSC was reporting a 7 percent increase in deaths compared to 2015. The trend is a disturbing one, and although many factors can contribute to vehicle accident deaths, distracted driving is a key factor in the growing number of accidents. There’s no better way to avoid distracted driving than keeping one’s eyes on the road, and yet emerging technologies, mobile smartphones, social media and other factors all contribute to a dangerous trend toward driver inattention.

Help prevent poor driving behaviors such as texting and driving or cell phone use and driving by utilizing our Sentinel device. The telematic device sends alerts when a driver is using their cell phone and to the owner simultaneously.

To find out more how you can prevent distracted driving for your teenager or loved one, click here