Apps to Fight Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is not a new danger, but it is a very real one that continues to grow. Every single day, people are hurt or even killed due to an accident directly related to distracted driving.
It is not a secret that cell phones and smartphones have played a big role in the increase of distracted driving incidents. What you might not know is that several app developers are working to create ways to help make your phone a tool to fight against distracted driving, rather than a cause of it.
With app stores filling with apps meant to keep you from driving distracted, you may be left wondering which app is best for you.
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.
Take back your focus. Pledge today to drive distraction-free.
How Apps Can Help
These days, our phones are incredibly powerful. They can keep us in constant contact with our friends and family. They can practically put the whole world's information in the palm of our hands. It is not surprising, therefore, that people find it difficult to stay off their phones, even while driving.
Consider, however, that reading just one text message keeps your eyes off the road an average of 5 seconds. A lot can happen in 5 seconds.
By incentivizing safe driving, or even directly blocking you from using your phone, distracted driving apps aim to keep your attention off of your phone and on the road.
Choosing a Distracted Driving App
There are several distracted driving apps available. We here at DMV.ORG got our hands on several top-rated apps to help guide you towards an app best suited for your needs.
When choosing a distractive driving app, consider the following:
- Is the app compatible with your phone?
- Does it have the ability to block messages and phone calls?
- Can it track the miles you have driven safely?
- Will it provide notifications to parents?
- Does it offer rewards for driving safely and distraction-free?
Our Reviewed Apps
While we reviewed several distracted driving apps, four particularly stood out to us. Below is a
quick-reference chart of our findings—keep reading for details on the features in each of these apps.
LifeSaver uses GPS monitoring and a rewards system to help drivers break dangerous distracted driving habits. The app blocks the ability to use your phone while driving, and automatically lets loved ones know once you've safely arrived at your destination.
It features a “ Driver Portal" dashboard for parents to help guide teens on the journey to responsible driving habits, where they can set up rewards for their children when they demonstrate safe driving behavior. Additionally, LifeSaver can be used by commercial fleet managers to monitor their drivers' behavior on the job.
Available for both iOS and Android, AT&T's DriveMode app helps keep drivers from distraction by blocking any phone taking or texting and driving.
DriveMode can be set up to automatically start when you are driving over 15 MPH. You can even have it notify you when your teen driver has the app deactivated, or if certain settings are changed.
We like this distracted driving app because it is easy to set up, runs smoothly, and is exceptionally user-friendly.
You can even set up your own prizes for a private group of drivers, or for the public.
Currently free on both iOS and Android platforms, TrueMotion Family has a feature unique from other apps we reviewed—its “trip score". Each time you're behind the wheel, the app uses a rating scale for your overall drive, and pinpoints exact moments where you may have been driving distracted.
TrueMotion Family has the ability to compare driving scores and show your family members' location on the road in real time, as well as their trip history. This is especially helpful for parents of new teen drivers who are getting used to being out on the road.
The free Mojo app runs automatically in the background and tracks each trip you take.
You receive an overall Mojo score based on how often you’re swiping, typing, and taking calls on your phone. For each minute you drive without engaging in these distracting behaviors, you earn one point. When you reach 300 points, you can spin a prize wheel for the chance to win a $5 gift card to Amazon, Starbucks, or Dunkin’ Donuts.
Aside from the prizes, we also like this app because you can invite and compete with your friends to see who’s the safest driver. Mojo makes it fun, easy, and rewarding to keep your hands off your phone and on the wheel.
Getting Your Safe Driving App
No matter which one you decide to choose, downloading a safe driving app is a big step towards driving without distraction. Use your phone as a safety tool, and keep yourself accident-free.