Trusting your teen with the car (and their lives) can be a harrowing experience. Especially considering over 1,000 people per day are killed or injured in distracted driving accidents *. Luckily, there are a few apps on the market to ensure teens drive safe and steer clear of distractions like text messages and cell phones calls while monitoring their safe driving habits.
- Steer Clear Mobile
Steer Clear is powered by State Farm and is available for iPhone users. The app can monitor the teen’s driving and report back to State Farm the teen’s driving statistics. It can track speeding and other information that could possible lower the teen’s driving rates while in those “high-risk” years that lead to higher insurance.
- Road Ready
This is just the first in the driving apps that are designed to let parents know what their teens are doing on the road. Road Ready monitors teens during that important first phase of driving while teens are getting their Learner’s Permit and practicing to take their tests for their licenses. Sponsored by Ford, this app allows parents to track their driving experience into an online log. The company got the app ready just before National Teen Driver Safety Week to help promote and educate parents about this important week in teen safety.
- Safe Driver
While this app does not shut down the phone completely when the teen is driving, it does alert the parents when the teen goes above the speed limit. With complete GPS function, this app uses Google Maps to pull all the speed limits in an area. When the teen goes above the limit in a specific area, a text or email is sent to the parent’s phone. Parents can also see where their teens are at any given time. By looking at the app, they can get their full GPS location, pinpointed on a map. This app is available for the iPhone.
- Text Arrest
Text Arrest, a free app for android, completely shuts down a teen’s phone whenever they are in a moving vehicle. This helps for when teens are in a car with other friends. Parents should be wary, even when their child is in a car driven by another teen. Even when the teen is not driving, the phone will shut down, so other drivers in the car are not distracted by talking or cannot use the teen’s cell phone to make a call or send a text.
- Sprint Drive First
This app, available to all Sprint customers, limits a teen’s driving capacity when they are in a moving vehicle. Whenever the vehicle is moving and an incoming phone call or text is received, the call will be sent directly to voicemail or the text will be returned with an auto-reply text. The only “downside” to these apps, is parents can no longer penalize children for not answering the phone when they call. While teens can still make outgoing calls and texts, the probability that the teen will be distracted by an incoming call or text is less likely.
- AT&T DriveMode
DriveMode is a free app that parents who subscribe to AT&T can download for their teens’ BlackBerry and Android Phones. Whenever the teen is driving over 25 miles per hour, the phone sends an “out of office” reply to the senders of texts and emails. All incoming voicemails are also sent to voicemail while using the app, making it even more difficult for teens to become distracted by cell phones while driving; however, the phone does not block outgoing calls (for obvious emergency calls) or texts. It also does not block data service while driving so teens can still use GPS navigational functions on their phones while the car is moving.
* Stats provided by DefensiveDriving.com