These top five apps will help you break the texting and driving habit and make you a more responsible driver.
Driving is invigorating. Doing so well – with one’s full attention – is one of life’s most valuable skills. So why are so many people, especially younger drivers, willing to turn away from the experience and risk the lives of others, and their own, by focusing on their smartphones while on the road? Like millions of people throughout society and in the industry, this is a question I grapple with. Sadly, one out of four car accidents in the U.S is caused by texting and driving. Equally troubling, texting and driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk.
Most studies indicate that millennials, my generation, are particularly stubborn when it comes to this fatal habit. A survey from Erie Insurance suggests that when it comes to texting and driving, 44 percent of millennials and 40 percent of Gen Z hold the view that it is ok to text and drive when they feel it is safe. This point of view needs to change; this behavior needs to be fought.
Fighting fire with fire
A part of the solution may come from one of the main sources of the problem: apps and smartphones. Thanks to some ingenious mavericks and tech-savvy developers, there are new apps now available that can help you become more responsible while driving. Here’s a list of our top five.
Best app for businesses: Cellcontrol
This app is great for companies whose employees spend a lot of time on the road. It gives administrators complete control over their employees’ mobile usage behind the wheel. Employees download the app to block access to texts, emails, incoming calls, games, and notifications while driving. The app is a subscription-based service that comes with a device that can be inserted under the dashboard to block texts, emails and camera use while the car is in motion.
Best app for parents: Drive Safe Mode
This app is perfect for parents who are looking to monitor the cell phone usage of new and young drivers.
Drive Safe Mode prevents texting, social media and emailing whenever the phone is inside of a moving car. It also notifies your parents if the phone is active in the car, if the car is going above the speed limit or if the app is turned off when the car is moving. Parents also have the power to shut down their teen driver’s phone by logging on to the Drive Safe Mode website, if they feel their teen is inappropriately using the phone.
Best app for techies: Drivemode
Developed by AT&T, the app automatically turns on when the car is in motion. The app comes with safety features such as auto-reply, which means the app turns off all your incoming texts and sends auto-reply messages to inform your friends, family and coworkers that you are driving.
Best app for gamers: TrueMotion Family
Not only does TrueMotion Family track your phone usage, speed and location while driving, it also tracks how safely you drive by providing a score between 0 to 100 and shows details, such as where and when distractions, speeding and aggressive driving occurred. You can add family members and friends to share scores, trips and locations so that you can all work together to drive safely.
Best app for the non-app user: OneTap
Simple to use, OneTap automatically responds to texts and calls while driving. The app also allows you to add friends and family so that you can check their driving status before you call them.
Distracted driving is reckless, life-threatening, increasingly criminal and wholly avoidable. It also pulls your attention from a task – driving – that truly screams for your full attention. The next time you’re in a car, remember to put the phone away or, armed with this Top Five list, to select the right app for the ride.
Harry Kasparian is the millennial vice president of HGreg.com, part of HGrégoire, a network of more than 22 new and pre-owned car dealerships in North America. For more info, visit: HGreg.com.