New apps help worried parents track teen driving
Car crashes are the #1 cause of death for teens age 16-19. Fortunately, for worried parents of new drivers, apps are available to track teen driving. They can help prevent an injury or fatality when teens hit the road to enjoy their newfound freedom.
Distracted driving remains the leading cause of teen crashes. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 6 out of 10 moderate-to-severe teen crashes are caused by distractions that take a teen’s eyes off the road, if only for a split second. AAA placed video cameras in 1,700 cars driven by teens and discovered that 58% of crashes were due to these distractions:
- Interacting with one or more passengers – 15% of crashes
- Cell phone use – 12% of crashes
- Looking at something in the vehicle – 10% of crashes
- Looking at something outside the vehicle – 9% of crashes
- Singing/moving to music – 8% of crashes
- Grooming – 6% of crashes
- Reaching for an object – 6% of crashes
“It is troubling that passengers and cell phones were the most common forms of distraction given that these factors can increase crash risks for teen drivers,” said AAA CEO Bob Darbelnet. “The situation is made worse by the fact that young drivers have spent less time behind the wheel and cannot draw upon their previous experience to manage unsafe conditions.”
Joshua’s Law in Georgia was passed to help with the peer passenger issue. It states that during the first six months of driving, the only people allowed to ride in the car are immediate family members. During the second six months of driving, additional passengers other than family members may ride in the car, but only one of them can be under the age of 21. After those first 12 months, up to three passengers under the age of 21 who are not immediate family may ride in the car.
The law has literally saved thousands of lives, but distracted driving is still a huge factor in teen crashes. Using a cell phone while driving causes 1.6 million crashes annually, which result in 500,000 injuries and 6,000 deaths. Rather than just fretting at home, concerned parents can now monitor their teens while they’re driving. The following apps can easily block texting while driving and in the end become a real lifesaver for your teen driver and potential victims.
- Cellcontrol: This helpful app can disable the ability to text, email, surf the web, play games, Tweet, post to Snapchat and Facebook, take selfies and much more while driving a vehicle. 911 is always allowed. It’s also tamper resistant and easy to install. It works on iPhones and androids. Cost is $129 with no monthly fees.
- Lifesaver: This free app auto-detects driving and blocks cell phone use behind the wheel. Includes a Driver Portal for parents. Lifesaver claims that the app dramatically reduces distracted driving crashes by 23%. It also lets parents know when their teen driver has arrived safely at his or her destination.
- Drive Safe Mode: This app for iPhones and androids helps parents monitor their teen’s mobile use while driving. After creating an account and downloading the app on their teen’s phone, parents use the provided Access Token to oversee texting, Snapchatting, Facebooking and cell phone functions that distract from the operation of the vehicle. Parents can configure the app to allow for certain numbers to be called during emergencies.
- Live2Txt: This app lets teen drivers block incoming texts and calls while driving. Once the teen is behind the wheel and the app is turned on, it silences the smartphone from incoming notifications, texts and calls. When the phone receives a message, the app will alert the sender with a customized message that they are unable to respond at the moment. For Android phones.
- SafeDrive: This free app is an excellent way to provide your teen driver with positive reinforcement by offering rewards for not texting while driving. It is simple. Once the teen is operating the vehicle, the SafeDrive app will begin to automatically reward your teen driver with points that can be redeemed at participating stores. For Android and iOS.
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