Parents concerned about their teens driving and texting should consider one or more of the many apps designed to limit that dangerous habit. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately nine deaths and 1,000 injuries happen in the U.S. every day due to distracted driving, many of which were the direct result of driving while texting. Although this fact alone should be enough to keep people from texting and driving, often teenagers cannot be trusted to make the decision for themselves. This is where parental driving control apps can be useful.
Though the app was developed by AT&T, it is still available for Android and iOS phones regardless of their carrier. AT&T DriveMode automatically detects when a user’s car is moving and responds to messages that would interrupt a person’s driving.
The app tells people texting the driver when its user is behind the wheel, informing them that he or she will not receive a reply until he or she has reached the destination. For parents, AT&T DriveMode will send text alerts if their child turns off the app, disables auto-mode, or adds a new speed-dial contact.
Parents looking to limit their child’s distracted driving should be aware of LifeSaver. An app available to Android and iOS, LifeSaver will not allow a driver to activate his or her phone display while driving. However, it still allows its users to take calls via a Bluetooth-enabled device.
Much like AT&T DriveMode, the app will block text notifications while the user is driving. The app does make an exception for some contacts, in case the user is expecting an important message. In many ways, LifeSaver is a less severe version of AT&T DriveMode, with more opportunities for exceptions and customizations. People considering this app should also be aware that it is known to drain batteries.
Parents who use the Canary app may not win any popularity contests, but it is a vitally useful tool for ensuring a teen’s safety behind the wheel. Canary allows parents to track their child’s actions. It tells them their phone usage, speed, and location while driving.
The app notifies parents by emails or push notifications whenever their teenagers do one of the following:
- Talk or text and drive
- Drive over the speed limit
- Violate curfew
- Drive outside the area the parents pre-approved
Canary, unlike similar apps, does not limit a teen’s ability to use his or her phone, it just reports on dangerous phone usage. Therefore, the app is a test of a teen’s restraint.
OMW – On My Way
Too often the final text sent before a car accident is, “On my way.” With this app, there is no reason for a driver to text his or her friends about the anticipated arrival time. OMW allows invited friends to track a driver’s location. They will receive notifications when the person is close.
This app is especially useful for parents of teens. With it, they can keep tabs on their child’s ride home without needing to distract them with questions about his or her arrival time.