You don’t think of your cell phone as a dangerous instrument, but using it while driving is often a fatal combination. Accidents happen in the blink of the eye, which is about how long it takes for someone to glance at a text message while driving. But thanks to some apps, you no longer need to worry about driving distracted.
According to the national department of motor vehicles, driving distracted accounts for nine deaths every day. While phones keep us connected with friends and family and carry an amazing amount of information, they can’t help you drive.
Just glancing at a text message takes about five seconds, and those seconds may be the difference between avoiding an accident and becoming a statistic. Use one or more of the following apps to reduce smartphone distractions.
Google now offers voicemail transcriptions for T-Mobile customers who have Pixel and Nexus smartphones. When someone leaves a voicemail, the app will transcribe it and let you decide if it’s important or spam. Right now, only T-Mobile offers this on specific phones. The technology is also in the initial stages.
Other apps offer solutions designed for both iPhone and Android devices. Pair any one of the following apps with a Samsung Galaxy S7 from T-Mobile for the full benefits. T-Mobile has the fastest network, beating out Verizon and AT&T, according to a new report from OpenSignal.
LifeSaver uses a GPS monitoring system that blocks the driver from using their phone while the vehicle is moving. The app automatically lets loved ones know once you arrive safely at your destination. It also includes a driver portal for parents, which lets them know about their teen’s driving habits. There’s even a reward system available for those who need an incentive for safe driving behavior. LifeSaver also helps commercial fleet managers keep track of drivers.
This app uses a rating scale for your overall driving ability and pinpoints moments when you seem distracted. Set up the app and compare driving scores with other members of the family for a little friendly competition to see who is the safest driver.
This app runs continuously and tracks each trip you make. Mojo tracks how often you swipe, type, or take calls with your phone. You receive one point for every minute you drive without touching your phone. Reach 300 points and get a reward, like a $5 gift card from Starbucks or Amazon. This app also allows you to compete with friends and family for the best score.
TextArrest and Canary
Designed primarily for parents to monitor their teen drivers, both apps notify parents regarding phone use while driving. They also tell parents when the driver exceeds the speed limit and allow parents to set up a perimeter. This lets you know when your child goes somewhere they shouldn’t. In addition, TextArrest allows the teen to use the phone in the event of an emergency and notifies the parents automatically.
Program this app to alert you if your teen is texting, take selfies, using social media, or playing games while driving. It only disables the driver’s phone, allowing passenger phones to operate normally. It can simply monitor the driver’s use of the phone or alert the parent when predefined behaviors occur.
This app prevents a phone from working when the driver exceeds a certain speed limit. Once the car slows below the predetermined speed, the phone functions normally.
Live2Txt is a wonderful app for the whole family. When a text or call comes in, a message goes to the sender or caller and says that the individual is driving and can’t respond. This way, your friends, and colleagues know you’re not just ignoring them.
Want to know what your texts and emails say while you’re driving? DriveSafe.ly reads incoming messages aloud as they arrive. No need to take your eyes off the road; you’ll still receive the valuable information. This is a great tool for business drivers heading toward meetings or other appointments.
Whether you use an app or just put your phone away when driving, remember to keep your focus on the road. Distractions come in many forms. With these tools, you can make sure your phone isn’t one of them.