Texting and Driving

Texting-Driving

Maybe it’s because my first born got her license today (GULP). This morning.  I have been doing a lot of thinking about texting while driving.  Most adults have done it and we know we shouldn’t.  So many of us use our smartphones as our navigation.  Google Maps, Waze, etc.  I know I do.  My phone is mounted on my dash so I can easily see the map when using a navigation app.  But you can see texts pop up as well.  This is a distraction and a temptation.

How can we stop it?? Turns out there is an app for that!  Many apparently:

If you have AT&T you can download Drive Mode.  AT&T DriveMode is a free, safe driving app that helps prevent distractions while driving by silencing incoming alerts, including iMessages. The app activates when speed reaches 15 MPH and deactivates when speed drops below 15 MPH for 2-3 minutes.

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There is also One Tap.  Distraction-Free Driving – OneTap detects when you’re driving and automatically silences alerts and notifications.  Auto Reply Icon – OneTap replies to incoming calls and texts, letting people know you’re behind the wheel. Connect with Friends – OneTap lets you check on the driving status of friends and family before you call. Currently only available for Android phones.

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Down For The Count is another app.  Down For The Count was created to reduce the temptation to use your phone while driving.

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On My Way allows you to share your location and for friends to see where you are so there is no need to text them to let them know.

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Automatic  Smart Driving Assistant application ($79) works with the Automatic link accessory ($99) to silence incoming text messages, notifications, and phone calls when they drive. It can auto-reply to callers with a text message to inform them your teen is behind the wheel. If a crash happens, the application’s Crash Alert will summon emergency help from local authorities, providing them with the incident’s location. The application is backed by a call center, where staffers will stay on the phone with your teen when an incident is phoned in, and call you to inform you of the situation. The application also keeps track of your teen’s driving style and offers advice for driving more efficiently.

Automatic - Android Apps on Google Play

TrueMotion Family is a FREE family-oriented driving app that gives you a complete picture of your family’s driving safety. It’s the only app that tells you where your family members are and how they got there, with details on exactly how they drove including phone use, texting, aggressive driving, speeding, and more.

With TrueMotion Family you can:
• See where your teen driver is.
• See how they got there.
• See if your teen is driving responsibly (and if they’re texting or using the phone while driving).
• Engage your entire family by inviting them to your app Family. Friends are welcome too!
• And, see how your teen ranks compared to the rest of your Family.

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DriveSafe.ly is another one.  Unlike most apps that completely block calls and text messages, this app allows users to reply without taking their eyes off the road or hands of the wheel. Simply turn the app on when you get in the car, and it will read all text messages and emails out loud. Voice-control allows the driver to respond without even touching the phone. The app can also connect to Bluetooth systems, making it easier to hear. Although texting is not important while driving, this app allows teens to do it safely if they need to.

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LifeSaver locks the phone.  For any parent that worries about their child texting and driving, they now have the power to lock their child’s phone while the car is in motion. Once the car comes to a stop, the phone will unlock and can once again be used. Once installed on a mobile phone, it automatically locks the device in about three seconds after driving starts. When driving stops, it can unlock just as quickly or it can be configured to wait longer (60 seconds) to discourage usage at stop lights. The app can’t distinguish passenger from driver, or car movement from that of a train, but its aim is to protect teenage drivers: Parents can incentivize good behavior — and encourage teens not to over-ride the lock on the device — by setting monthly rewards for them based on data that tracks phone activity in a moving vehicle.

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HUM by Verizon.  With this app, you’ll always know how and where your teen is driving. Hum not only provides boundary alerts and speed activity reports, it also gives diagnostic information on your car’s operation and can summon roadside assistance (great for older cars that aren’t equipped with such features). Hum helps make your ride smarter, safer and more connected. With Emergency Assistance, Vehicle Diagnostics, Speed Alerts and much more — you can hit the road with confidence.

There’s more out there and more being developed.  Sometimes technology really can help. I’m going to give this a try.  Let me know if you have used any of the above and what you think.  I’ll report back and let  you know my thoughts.

Stay safe on the road folks, and please, put the phone down! Our kids are watching.

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2 thoughts on “Texting and Driving

    • So far I have only used the AT&T app “Drive Mode”. I like it so far. I removed the auto-mode which kicks it on when traveling over 15mph because that is no fun when you are a passenger. It’s easy enough to to toggle it to “on” when you get in the car. I LOVE that it lets me use my favorite navigating app “Waze” and it auto-responds to texts while I’m driving! So far I am a fan. I have to explore the others. I will post back!

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