In late July, Geico joined other large car insurance companies leveraging driver tracking technology by offering a new telematics program called DriveEasy. Now, a majority of the largest personal car insurance carriers in the United States offer these sorts of driver tracking programs to their policyholders to encourage safer driving and, in most cases, offer car insurance discounts. DriveEasy is currently in the testing stage in select states. Certain drivers were selected to participate in DriveEasy testing and have access to the program via Geico’s mobile app.
DriveEasy only has a mobile app offering available. It doesn’t offer a telematics device option that plugs into your car like some other companies offer, including Progressive. If you’re enrolled in DriveEasy, you must have the mobile app on your phone. The app will track your driving behavior to offer you safe driving tips and also calculate your driving score.
DriveEasy is interactive and has a fun and competitive aspect to it. If other family members are enrolled in DriveEasy, you can see how you rank among family members with your driving score. This can be a fun way to encourage safe driving among your family.
In most cases, driver tracking programs such as DriveEasy offer drivers a discount for participating in the program and practicing safe driving habits. Progressive Snapshot and Allstate Drivewise are two examples of other telematics programs that offer drivers discounts. The discounts are determined based on your score. Currently, there’s no information on if and how much of a discount you can get by earning a good driver score using Geico’s DriveEasy.
What driving habits does Geico DriveEasy monitor?
DriveEasy uses a combination of measured driving habits to curate your individualized driving score. Some driving behaviors have a greater impact than others depending on the level of risk they pose. The following driving habits are measured by DriveEasy. The list is in order of what makes up the largest part of your driving score.
1. Distracted driving
One aspect of DriveEasy that distinguishes it from many other driver tracking programs is that it can actually measure distracted driving behavior using your phone. Distracted driving puts you at a significantly higher risk of a car accident, which is why it encapsulates the largest chunk of your DriveEasy score.
It tracks two types of distracted driving: handheld phone calls and active phone use. Handheld phone calls include any time you pick up your phone to answer or make a call while you’re driving. Active phone use includes touching your phone for any reason. This could include unlocking your phone, touching it to schedule a GPS trip, texting and so on. All of these behaviors are monitored by the app to determine distracted driving.
DriveEasy does not count hands free phone calls and passive phone use (i.e. inmount, screen on) towards the distracted driving portion of your driving score.
2. Distance driven
The next largest portion of your driving score with DriveEasy is the distance you drive. The more you drive, the higher your risk for a car accident. The number of miles you drive affects your score.
3. Hard braking
DriveEasy uses the sensors in your phone to measure your braking. Hard braking penalizes you and your DriveEasy score. The way Geico defines hard braking is decelerating at least 7 mph per second.
4. Dangerous times
Some times of the day are considered more dangerous to drive than others. Typically, late evening and very early morning hours are considered more dangerous. DriveEasy calculates this by splitting your day into three-hour blocks. Each block has a different level of driving risk. For example, Geico says that driving at 3 a.m. on a Saturday is riskier than noon on a weekday. Your driving frequency and trip durations in each time block are measured and contribute to your DriveEasy score.
How does DriveEasy work?
Right now, DriveEasy is still in the testing stage. Certain drivers in select states have been chosen to participate in DriveEasy’s testing. Those selected, received an email ahead of time with an invitation to participate and access to download the DriveEasy app. Drivers participating in the testing have access to the program and app for six months, beginning when they downloaded the DriveEasy app.
DriveEasy is a mobile app that runs in the background of your phone. It’s only available on smartphones (iPhones on iOS 10 or higher, Androids on Marshmallow 6.0 or higher). While running in the background, DriveEasy doesn’t limit your phone’s usage.
For example, you’ll still be able to use your phone to make calls and use your GPS. DriveEasy automatically determines when you’re driving a car by using your phone’s sensors, movement and GPS. It can distinguish when you’re the passenger and when you’re the driver and it doesn’t require you to open the app before you start driving.
If the DriveEasy app incorrectly assigns your driver status on a trip — for example, if it thinks you’re the driver when you’re actually the passenger — you can fix this in the app. Be aware that if you’re the driver and your passenger uses your phone while you’re driving, this will count against you as distracted driving.
DriveEasy doesn’t require you to have Wi-Fi turned on, but it’s recommended for accuracy and to save your cellular data. Typically, a driver uses 60-70MB of cellular data per month for DriveEasy. The app tries to avoid using your data as much as possible by uploading your driving data after a trip via Wi-Fi when available.
Additionally, it conserves your cellular data and battery by going to sleep when you’re not driving. It also waits until after the first quarter mile of a trip to start tracking your driving to ensure you’re actually on a trip.
In terms of privacy, Geico collects your data via DriveEasy to measure your driving habits and give you a score. Geico says that your information is kept in the United States and stored on secure data server. Geico says it can’t read your messages or see who you’re calling. Geico stresses that it’s committed to protecting your privacy. You can read more about privacy by visiting Geico’s DriveEasy page.
Is DriveEasy worth it?
DriveEasy from Geico may be a great way to become a better driver. The app’s technology is able to determine areas of improvement to your driving and offer you tips to become a safer driver. It’s a great way for you to work towards becoming a better driver and for parents to encourage safer driving among their children by competing with your driving scores. DriveEasy allows you to see a ranking of the drivers in your family by your score.
Since DriveEasy is still in the testing stage, it’s too early to evaluate its worth, especially since aspects and features could change after testing. Because it’s in the early stages, there aren’t any reviews on Clearsurance yet to evaluate the program. It’s also not known yet if and how much money the program will save you.
Have you been chosen to participate in DriveEasy’s testing? We’d love to hear about your experience! Share your experience with our community by writing a Geico review.
This post will be updated as more information on Geico’s DriveEasy program becomes available.
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