Updated on 4/1/2016
A report from the Virginia Tech Institute for Transportation found that you’re 23 times more likely to get in a car accident if you text while driving, far surpassing other distractions. This fact alone should stop us from reaching for the phone the next time it buzzes or pings while behind the wheel. Yet we’re only human, and sometimes we neglect reason. Thankfully, these five free apps can help you keep your hands and eyes on the road.
This nifty app silences all incoming texts and sends auto-reply messages to those texting you letting them know you’re behind the wheel. The app automatically turns on when your vehicle starts moving, so your only job is to keep two hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. While it was developed by AT&T, it’s available for iPhone and Android regardless of your carrier.
OMW – On My Way
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One common texting temptation is to share estimated arrival time. With OMW there’s no need to text or call friends to say when you’ll be there as the app lets you share your trip. Friends invited to follow your trip can track your location and also receive a notification upon your arrival. Save yourself the risky texts and still let all your homies know you’re on the way.
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.
Down For the Count
Drive safe and earn cash. Sound good? With Down For the Count, you can do just that. The app is designed to reward young drivers’ safe driving by letting them create safe driving pledge campaigns that others (ex: parents or relatives) can sponsor. Once your pledge is approved, your safe driving campaign begins. With this app, it literally pays to drive safe.
Having your teen driver hit the road for the first time can be an unnerving experience. Canary offers parents some peace of mind by tracking their child’s actions behind the wheel. The app tracks a driver’s phone usage, speed and location while driving. If a driver uses his or her phone while driving the app notifies the parent. It may not be your teen’s favorite app, but the safety payoff may make it a parent’s dream.
Not only will this app prohibit you from texting while you’re driving, it also manages your texts and calls while you’re on the road. If someone sends you a text, the app will automatically respond to the person letting them know that you are currently driving and unable to text them back.