Cellcontrol and Esurance recently announced a partnership that will allow parents to place devices in vehicles that it says will be effective in preventing distracted driving.

The small device can block mobile phone calls, texts, email, Internet, and other smartphone applications while the car is in motion, keeping teens focused on the road, reducing distracted driving, and helping to save lives, according to a press release.

It works like this: Esurance customers simply download the free app, plug a small device into their car’s on-board diagnostics (OBD) port, and enter the settings for as many devices as they want to control, including laptops and tablets. Using non-pairing Bluetooth technology from Cellcontrol, the device is engaged when a car is in motion and limits mobile device activity during that time. It remains active in the background and usage is blocked until the car is completely stopped. Cellcontrol works with all the latest Android™, Blackberry®, and most Windows® phones, and select non-smart phones. iPhone® compatibility will be available soon.

“Distracted driving of all kinds is a critical problem,” said Robert Passmore, Senior Director of Personal Lines Policy for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI). “This is a great example of how our members have led the way on auto safety issues. PCI has long supported efforts to promote awareness of the issue and technology is one tool that people can use to protect themselves, their passengers and fellow motorists from the hazards of distracted driving.

Parents can receive email notifications if a teen driver attempts to disable or remove the device, delete the smartphone app, or switch off Bluetooth functionality.