It is surprising how quickly the time for your child to start driving arrives. From infant to teenager in what feels like a blink of an eye. And just how you have been protecting them all their life, you also want to do the same as they start to make trips on their own. Your generation has seen the rise and overtaking of technology—and how disruptive it can be to drivers. Ironically, you can also use this same technology to keep your teen driver safe instead of being a distraction.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC), reports that drivers aged 15 to 19 account for 6.5% of the drivers on the road across the U.S. but account for 8.4% of expenses associated with accidents. The lack of experience and confidence behind the wheel is a major contributing factor as is the usage of a cell phone while behind the wheel (reports show that 26% of all crashes result from distractions from a cell phones ).
The following apps can help keep your teen safe while driving—and focused on the task at hand.
Do Not Disturb Mode
The standard text messaging app across most devices has an option to place the phone on a “Do Not Disturb” mode when the phone registers that it is in a vehicle (typically through a Bluetooth connection). This setting sends an automated reply to any incoming text that the receiver is driving and will reply soon. In addition, it also withholds the text notification while the phone is connected via Bluetooth to the vehicle.
There are other, similar apps (like the “Safe and Sound” by Toyota, Kruzr, or the AT&T Drive Mode) that enable safeguards from being turned off or being used while on the “Do Not Disturb Mode”—like turning off the music, send parental notifications, or locking the teen out of their phone until the vehicle is completely shut off.
This app enables location tracking for the whole family as well as driving habits. Speeding or texting while driving is logged—and each member on the app is given a Safe Driver Rating. Set a good example of proper phone use (or rather a lack of) while driving and encourage your teen to do the same.
Similar to above, this app tracks driving habits (speeding, braking, response to traffic signals, etc.) but also allows the user to be rewarded with money for safe driving habits. This app can also track drive time and distance as well as offer feedback to the user on how to improve their driving.
If your teen drives for work, like as a pizza delivery person or grocery shopper/deliverer, this app can be used by employers to keep their drivers off their phones while on the clock.
This app is ideal for any teen—or driver of any age—who is known to have a heavy or “lead” foot. Preset with speed limits in a wide range of areas, this app will sound an alarm if the driver exceeds a predetermined limit (e.g. going 5 or 10 over the listed speed limit).
App stores of full of many different safe driving apps gear towards teens and older drivers. Review apps to see which best suits most of the needs for your new teen driver to help encourage them to drive safely and reinforce your driving rules, even when you aren’t riding as a passenger.