Among adults who text, 47% say they have sent or read a text while driving, and 75% of adults who own a cell phone report having talked on one while driving. If you’ve been following recent discussions around distracted driving in honor of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, you know that this behavior is not only dangerous*, but potentially illegal and likely to lead to a hefty fine or even jail time, depending on where you live. *Link to Dangers of Distracted Driving blog
If you just can’t help but reach for your phone, the following apps will help your phone help you to stop driving distracted and help make your community safer!
Live2Txt is manually activated by the driver when the get behind the wheel, and will automatically block incoming texts or phone calls until deactivated. You can even have a customized message sent so anyone texting you knows you cannot respond at the moment. There’s also an option to have an alert sent to a parent’s phone anytime the app is activated or deactivated, so that parents can monitor their children. (1.99 Google Play)
SafeDrive not only prevents you from using your phone while driving, but rewards you for it! Open the app when you get behind the wheel, and SafeDrive will automatically grant you points once you’re travelling over 6 miles (or 10 kilometers) per hour. You can then use these points to earn discounts from participating companies. (FREE Google Play & IOS )
DriveSafe Mode is marketed towards parents looking to control their teen’s texting behavior. After creating a parent account, you can sync your account to the phone you want to monitor. The app blocks phone use based on movement, and notifies parents when the phone they are monitoring utilizes mobile apps or attempts to disable DriveSafe Mode. You can also set custom phone numbers that are allowed to be called in case of emergency. (FREE Google Play & IOS)
Cellcontrol uses a combination of an app along with a device installed in-vehicle that allows you to customize what is and isn’t permissible for drivers to do on their phone. You can manage multiple drivers from a singular online account. Cellcontrol even provides reports on driver performance. (FREE app but requires purchase of hardware Google Play & IOS)
If you absolutely cannot ignore your messages for the duration of your drive - and your state laws permit hands-free use of your device, DriveSafe.ly might be the app for you. DriveSafe.ly will read your texts and emails aloud and automatically responds. All the driver has to do is activate the app when they get in the car. (FREE Google Play)
Visit Urgent.ly’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month page to learn more about distracted driving and Distracted Driving Awareness Month, find out more ways you can join the fight to end distracted driving, and take the pledge to drive phone-free!