Amped and “app’d” to prevent distracted driving

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.

 

The Best Car for Every Millennial


By Harry Kasparian

We millennials have everyone confused. We have varying views on marriage, corporate culture and even travel. Our spending habits are historically unconventional. Every industry is trying to accommodate and capitalize to our tastes and values. The automotive industry is no different. After all, we are today’s largest generation with the highest purchasing power of any group before us.

A popular misconception is that we aren’t buying cars at all. However, the truth is millennials are, but we are doing so at our own pace. Millennials prefer, for example, short-term commitments and don’t necessarily want to own a car for more than five years. And just like the trend of postponing marriage and rearing children, some of us are also delaying the big car purchase until our 30s.

Defined as those born between the years of 1980 to 1996, millennials are seen as a diverse and complex group. While we have different wants and beliefs, one thing is for sure: when it comes to our attitudes toward cars and car ownership, we don’t see our vehicle as just a means of transportation. Rather, it’s an extension of our personality and the gateway to the lifestyle we want.

Choosing a car is always an adventure. So to help you navigate the numerous options out there, here’s my list of the best cars that reflect who you are and where you’re going:

1) The Always-Connected

If you’re attached to your phone, connectivity to you is important. As soon as you get into the driver’s seat you want your phone to display your route and sync your playlist seamlessly, freeing you up to focus on the road, distracted free. For first time buyers, look into a Chevy Cruz, Honda Accord, Honda Civic or a Nissan Altima. They all offer the latest technology to keep you driving hands free. These cars are also sporty enough for someone on a modest budget. Best of all, the latest models can help you safely parallel park and/or warn you of oncoming traffic to avoid collisions, helping you feel more comfortable if you’re new on the road.

PRO TIP:

Everyone loves new bells and whistles, but ensure you understand (and need) all the features that come with the vehicle. Look into older models and purchase off season to lock in a good price.

2) The Un-Soccer Mom

If your birth year falls into the earlier tip of the millennial bracket, chances are you’re balancing a career with a baby on the way. However, you wouldn’t naturally gravitate toward the typical minivan. Car manufacturers have tuned into your needs and have supplied subcompact SUVs as the answer. Take a look at the Buick Encore, Buick Envision, GMC Terrain or Mazda CX-3. These models are multifunctional – sleek enough to park in your reserved spot at the office with room for cargo and family life.

PRO TIP:

We know you’re busy, but it helps to do your research. Get price quotes online and get pre-approved financing from sites like HGreg.com. Ensure you have accurate figures, especially when you’ll have to start budgeting for a growing family.

3) The Hustler

You are no longer the company intern and you’re hitting your stride in your career. You want your vehicle to reflect your ambition but without appearing overly confident.  Luxury car manufacturers have introduced lower-price point models, such as the Mercedes CLA, BMW 1-series, Lexus CT 200h and Audi A3, with the goal to entice and mold you into a life-long customer. If a designer brand doesn’t resonate with you, but you still crave a vehicle with performance and design, additional options are a Subaru WRX, Subaru BRX and the Nissan GTR.

PRO TIP:

Since you might be looking to upgrade your vehicle sooner than the average person, make sure to ask about the trade in value of your car or what it would re-sell for in the future. If you’re already thinking of selling, visit sites like Autobye.com, which is a simple platform to sell your vehicle for maximum value.

 

4) The Scenester

Like most of us, your social calendar is full – from brunch dates to a night out with friends, you live for interaction. To you, driving your car is a joy in and of itself. You want your vehicle to be fun and unique. Try the Mini Cooper, Scion TC or Ford Focus. Not only do these cars serve as a conversation starter, but they have the best sound systems, allowing you to set the mood prior to arriving at your destination.

PRO TIP:

With your always-on-the-go schedule, ensure to enquire about models that require less maintenance and general upkeep.

 

5) The Weekend Warrior

You work hard and play hard. As soon as the weekend hits, you want to jump into your car for the next adventure.  And if you are among the 60 per cent of millennials who are single, you’re free for impromptu weekend getaways at a moment’s notice. A Jeep Renegade, Jeep Trailhawk, Jeep Cherokee or a Ford F-Series pickup may be just the ride for you. They can handle any terrain and give plenty of room – whether it’s to store your gear or provide legroom for your crew.

PRO TIP:

Look for cars that have low mileage based on its year. On average, people drive their cars 12,000 to 15,000 miles annually. Do some quick calculations to ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.

 

While the above tips may help, above all, do your research and take a car out on a test drive. Also ask about refund and exchange policies, in case you’re not completely satisfied with your purchase. Pre-owned car dealerships like HGreg.com allow you to check out hundreds of models online. Once you’re ready to take the car out for a spin, the dealership guarantees it will be available when you arrive, and you have seven days from the point of purchase to return your vehicle in the off chance you change your mind.

Harry Kasparian is the millennial vice president of marketing and communications at HGreg.com, which is part of HGrégoire, a network of more than 22 new and pre-owned car dealerships in North America. For more info, visit: HGreg.com.