The digital age has brought everything to our fingertips in the form of smart phones. This creates a dangerous distraction for many drivers, especially for the younger generation. According to Distraction.gov, “For drivers 15-19 years old involved in fatal crashes, 21 percent of the distracted drivers were distracted by the use of cell phones.” Many adults are also admitting to checking their phones and texting while on the road.
Educating adults and youths to the dangers of this newer form of distracted driving is critical to increasing awareness and preventing needless injury and death. Despite that the safe choice when driving would be to keep your phone down, or turned off, many continue to make the decision to drive distracted.
There is a surprising resource that can prevent this and is directly on your phone in the form of an app. There are quite a few on the market and they aim to help parents keep their teen drivers safe, and prevent distracted drivers from averting their attention to every text or call. Here are a few that can help make a difference:
DriveScribe: iPhone Android
DriveScribe is a free application that uses gamification to promote use. When the app senses driving speeds it blocks texts and calls. It also accurately monitors your speed and detects when you commit a driving violation, such as speeding or missing a stop signal. At the end of your day the app will tally up your safety score and give you points that can be redeemed for retail cards. You can pair your app up with family members and friends and compete on a leaderboard, and user friendly graphics tell you when you need to correct bad habits. This is a great app for families and newer drivers.
Drive Safe.ly: Download for iPhone, Android, Blackberry
Drive Safe.ly is a free app that reads your text messages aloud in real time and allows you to reply via voice command without ever touching your device. The app is very basic and simple to use. You open the application and press on when you get in your car and it will automatically read you your messages until you deactivate it. This app is for anyone proactively trying to stop texting and driving, but it does not prevent it.
A no-nonsense app, Texticution completely eliminates the ability to send or receive texts once it senses movement at 10 mph. This is for those most serious about eliminating potential for distracted driving via their phones. Once the application detects speeds under 10 mph it will unlock, allowing for regular device use. It has a one-time cost of $29.99 and is available for Android phones.
There are many more apps on the market, and all have their own way to help. To learn more about the dangers of texting and driving visit FCC’s Dangers of Texting While Driving page, or Distraction.gov, and take the pledge at It Can Wait.