Distracted Driving Apps
Cell phones have fast become invaluable tools that keep us connected to every aspect of our lives. However, their use has also played a notable role in the increase of distracted driving incidents nationwide. Taking your eyes off the road to check texts or answer a call can instantly create unsafe driving conditions. “You are more dangerous to yourself and everyone else on the road than a drunk driver with a .08 blood alcohol,” said Washington’s Governor Jay Inslee.
If police catch you with a phone in your hand while driving, you’ll pay a hefty penalty in Washington. Fines significantly increase after a second offense. In addition, law enforcement will report the violations to your insurance company. They’ll likely increase your premiums as a result. The law states that you may use a finger to activate the phone, but you can’t pick it up or hold it any fashion.
related: New Distracted Driving Law
What can you do to avoid the habit of using your phone while driving? Plenty. We call them smartphones for a reason, right?
Just as smartphones and other technology can distract people from being a safe driver, software developers have created apps for these smart devices that incentivize safe driving or even directly block drivers from using their phones while operating a vehicle.
You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. So, we have compiled 10 great apps to consider putting on your phone to prevent distracted driving. [Note: some were designed with teenage drivers in mind, while others are less preventative than parts of the distracted driving law require drivers to be. Please consider the law and what best suits you and your family’s needs.]
10 Apps to Prevent Distracted Driving
LifeSaver uses GPS monitoring and a reward system that helps drivers break dangerous driving habits. The app blocks the ability to use your phone while driving, and automatically lets loved ones know once you’ve safely arrived at your destination. https://lifesaver-app.com/
TextLimit prevents automatic features on a phone from functioning when the phone is moving above a certain speed. Once the phone goes back under the predetermined speed, TextLimit restores all features and they are fully functional once more. https://www.textlimit.com/
TrueMotion is free on both iOS and Android devices and has a feature unique from other apps, “trip score”. Each time you’re behind the wheel, the app uses a rating scale for your overall drive. The app also pinpoints exact moments where you may have been driving distractedly. TrueMotion can compare driving scores and show a driver’s location on the road in real time, as well as their trip history. https://gotruemotion.com/app/
DriveScribe blocks incoming calls and texts when the car is moving above a certain speed. In addition, the DriveScribe app notifies drivers who are traveling too fast. http://mashable.com/2012/08/30/drivescribe-app-safe-driving/#AZXESxqI.sqF
Live2Txt lets you block incoming texts and calls while driving. Turning the app on when you get behind the wheel will silence your smartphone from incoming notifications, texts and calls. When you receive a message, the app will alert senders with a custom message that you’re unable to respond at that moment. http://www.getlive2txt.com/
DriveSafe.ly reads incoming text messages and emails, including shorthand, aloud as they come in. This app prevents drivers from looking down at the phone when they’re on the road but still lets them know when important information comes through. http://www.drivesafe.ly/
TextBuster locks all text, email and internet features when the car is running. TextBuster communicates with phones via Bluetooth to prevent Internet functions, including e-mail, and short message service (SMS) texting, although it doesn’t prevent incoming or outgoing calls on cellular networks. The TextBuster device also sends data to external servers on trip data and it also uses monitoring software to identify any instances of tampering with the device. Available from local retailers and amazon.com.
DriveMode is available for both iOS and Android. AT&T’s DriveMode app helps block any incoming phone calls or texting while you’re driving. DriveMode can be set up to automatically start when you are driving over 15 MPH. https://drivemode.com/
CellControl is a unique program that is designed to disable only the driver’s phone, leaving other passengers free to use their phones normally. CellControl prevents behaviors that have been defined ahead of time: texting, taking selfies, using social media accounts, and playing games, among others. It can also be set to simply monitor usage to determine whether or not a driver is using their phone responsibly. https://www.cellcontrol.com/stop-texting-while-driving-for-your-family
Waze is powered and used by drivers all over the world. Drivers connect to one another and work together to improve each other’s driving experience. As a community-based traffic and navigation app, Waze was created as a social navigation tool for private cars. Waze is a great app to use for directions because it will not allow you to type or use it, unless you indicate you are the passenger using the app, once the car is moving. https://www.waze.com/