Some insurance companies are taking advantage of modern technology to keep a closer eye on their customers’ driving habits. Even though such business initiatives are voluntary right now, some complain that this technology still has too much of a Big Brother feel to it. On the other hand, many proponents say that drivers operate their cars safer when they know that their insurance companies are watching their driving via the customers’ mobile devices.

Moreover, this technology allows insurance companies to reward good drivers with lower prices while giving careless drivers appropriate and timely consequences in the form of more expensive car insurance. The whole process is called Usage-Based Insurance, or UBI. Basically, through a phone application, the insurance company can check to see how often a driver is on the road late at night, and, thus, possibly fatigued. The application can also check a driver’s speed and determine how often a driver has to hit the brakes hard to avoid an accident. Frequent hard-braking is a sign of many poor driving habits, such as inattentiveness or distracted driving.

Some studies suggest these apps do actually prevent auto accidents. Specifically, one study found that drivers who sign up for UBI technology reduced their number of hard-braking incidents by over one-fifth. This suggests that the technology really does make drivers more mindful of their driving. The technology appeared to particularly help both young and female drivers.

With or without this technology, however, drivers in the Kansas City area should always operate their vehicles safely. In fact, they are constantly under an obligation to be on the lookout for other motorists and keep them safe. When they fail to do so, their victims may ask for compensation via a legal filing.