Safe driving apps can help prevent distracted driving and monitor for other unsafe driving behaviors that cause car accidents.
Using Technology to Prevent Distracted Driving
Cell phone use has increased the risk of serious and fatal injuries from distracted driving. But the same technology that led to such accidents can be now used as a tool to prevent them. Most phones have the capability to be set to set to a “Do Not Disturb Mode” that can provide automatic responses for incoming texts. Third-party apps are also available to prevent distracted driving and help keep drivers safe. Some apps even provide incentives to drivers like car insurance discounts or the ability to listen to music and use navigational tools while the app is active.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has pushed for all smartphones to be equipped with a “Driver Mode” setting that would limit how a phone can be used while driving. While this technology is available on some phones, its use is currently optional.
Free third-party apps for both Android and iOS phones that could make users safer drivers through just a simple download include:
- DriveMode that goes into action when a car reaches 15 mph and silences phone calls, texts, and alerts. If the teen turns off or disables the app, parents can be notified.
- EverDrive utilizes gamification to allow drivers to compete with their friends and families for good grades for good driving behaviors, including proper braking, speed acceleration, cornering, and phone use.
- TrueMotion Family, which gives an overall picture of a family’s driving behaviors and allows parents to monitor their teens’ driving behaviors like whether they are texting behind the wheel.
- LifeSaver activates when the individual starts driving and provides a portal for parents and a reward system for drivers.
- TextDrive is an auto-responder app that sends messages to respond to phone calls or texts received while driving
Teens at Highest Risk for Distracted Driving
Teens are at the highest risk of death from car crashes, especially between the ages of 15 to 19. Cell phone use has been linked to many of these fatal accidents. A recent report from the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) suggests that auto-insurance apps that monitor driving behavior and reward for good driving habits could potentially save lives.