Life is full of distractions, but when you're behind the wheel, the results can be deadly. This week is National Teen Driver Safety Week, and we want to help!
According to AAA Arizona, when teens are in a crash, distraction plays a role nearly six out of 10 times. The top distractions for them are talking to passengers and cellphone.
It might sound counterintuitive at first, but there are apps out there to help! Here are a few we researched.
'TrueMotion Family Safe Driving' is a free app that lets you virtually tag along on your teen's trip. With just a click of their name, you can see their driving score and when they are most aggressive, including when they're speeding. You can also monitor whether they are tapping or swiping on their phone. Click here to see the video explanation.
The 'Automatic Pro' app works with an adapter that is plugged in under your dashboard. It tracks the driver's speed and location, even when the vehicle is parked. The pro version will cost you about $129 dollars for a five-year subscription. That's about $2 per month. Click here to see how it works.
Do you prefer a little more control? The free 'LifeSaver' app detects when the car is in motion. Once activated, teens can only look up directions and make hands-free phone calls. Teens can deactivate the app, but parents are automatically notified. The purpose of this app is to let friends and family know once you've arrived somewhere safely and your exact location. Here's another perk! Teens can earn free iTunes rewards for safe driving.
A lot of newer cars have built-in systems for teen drivers. Toyota has one anyone can use called 'Safe & Sound'. Once the car starts moving, it goes into "Do Not Disturb" mode. If the teen breaks any rules, like texting, the app plays and "uncool" playlist created by the parents.
Check out Apple's 'Do Not Disturb While Driving' feature. Turn it on, and as soon as you're in the car, no more text messages! The phone silences them, and sends automatic texts that you are driving. You can still send texts in an emergency.
In doing research, we found several disclaimers for other apps that warn about battery drainage for having GPS and maps running on your phone all day.
We hope these tools can help your family and teens practice safe driving!