Un-Distracted In the Driver’s Seat
An update from “Driving Apps to Keep Teen Drivers Safe”
Smartphones captivate us. They and the apps we install on them were designed keep us engaged, but there are some places that we need to look up from those phones. The driver’s seat is one critical place that our eyes and hands should be too busy to deal with whatever our smartphone has to offer.
As we saw in the article from You Should Know, traffic injury and fatality rates are on the rise. One well-known contributor is the distracted driver, and that driver is most of us. The providers of TrueMotion, one of the many distraction-free apps, share that a whopping 85 percent of drivers use their phone while driving. That’s adults and teens alike, though teen drivers are more likely to be involved in fatal accidents.
“Distracted driving accounts for 9 deaths every day—deaths that are completely preventable simply by keeping your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel.”
There are dozens of ways to keep your eyes on the road instead of on your phone. You can download an app that rewards you for good driving or an app that yells at you every time you pick it up. You could simply use the “Do Not Disturb” or “Silence All” mode on your phone if you believe you have the wherewithal to avoid checking for notifications. Your distraction-busting method is your choice, and we’re happy to provide a list of options that could keep you safer on the road.
Here’s the app for that.
Actually, there are dozens of apps made precisely to curb distracted driving. The trick is finding an app that works for you.
- Do you need a buddy system? LifeSaver and Drive Beehive encourage support systems where the driver and support person (parent, boss, friend) agree on rewards for safe driving.
- Will you drive safer with a social or monetary incentive? SafeDrive and TrueMotion award points for phone-free driving. You can challenge other drivers and SafeDrive allows you to turn in points for discounts on a growing merchant list.
- If you’re the visual type, EverDrive, txt Blocker and Cellcontrol send driving reports to the app user. These are also apps recommended for concerned parents of teen drivers.
- Want a more versatile app that defies distractions? Apps like Focus, ( OFFTIME ) or BreakFree help you manage your screen time no matter what you’re supposed to be doing.
- Do you need the temptation completely gone? Distractless has an app and a device that disables your vehicle if you don’t turn on the app. Then the app blocks distractions.
Other features to consider:
- App automatically opens when in motion – Some apps are designed to turn on as soon as you hit a certain speed. You don’t have to remember to turn it on every time you get in the driver’s seat!
- Parental Controls – If you have a new driver in the house, you probably want to help them build safe habits. Choose an app that automatically tracks simultaneous vehicle-phone use, turns off notifications or other apps while in motion, or supports a reward system between parent and driver.
- Hands-free – If you work on the road or must be otherwise available, you can find an app that will read your texts and emails aloud and then use voice-commands to reply to those messages or dial a number for you.
- Silencers vs. App Blockers – Most distraction-free apps are designed to turn off notifications, but only a few block you from using apps altogether.
Despite our best efforts, and even the best apps, weak will-power can compromise our safe driving goals. If all else fails, we may have to just stick that phone deep in a bag in the backseat or the trunk. Lives are being destroyed in the five seconds it takes to read a text. No text or social media update is worth that price.
The attorneys at Sperling Law Offices in Milwaukee have been fighting for victims of motor vehicle accidents and other injuries for over 30 years. If you or a loved one was injured or killed in an accident, please call our office for a free consultation. 414-273-7777