Ask parents if they’d be up for blocking their teen’s ability to text and drive and it’s pretty clear there would be a resounding yes. Unfortunately, it’s not surprising to read that 31 percent of drivers from the age of 18-64 report having read or sent text messages or emails while driving. In this same demographic, 69 percent report having talked on their cell phone. With such high numbers in more experienced drivers, no wonder teens are prone to text and drive. They tend to follow behavior and see parental texting and driving as permission.
But, with 10 percent of drivers aged 15 to 19 involved in fatal car crashes due to distracted driving, why wouldn’t parents want to change that? First, changing parents’ own behavior would be a great start, but utilizing technology to make it inevitable might be another tactic.
Cell service provider Sprint offers an app to prevent distracted driving. It’s called Drive First and sends calls automatically to voicemail, silences emails and texts, and does this all when the car is moving quicker than 10 mph. There’s not much better than a free app offered through a provider to keep its customers safe.
DriveMode is another free app meant to keep one cell provider’s customers safe. AT&T’s version of text blocking silences alerts and sends parental notifications. If kids turn off the service or if they disable auto-mode, parents will know.
Drive Safe Mode
Parents can sign in and create an account through Drive Safe Mode and then register the mobile device of their choosing. The app is then downloaded on that chosen device and the phone can be monitored or even controlled. Immediate notifications are sent to parents, and if the app is on an Android, the phone can be locked out completely.
This app is a pretty great idea. “Drive. Earn. Play.” is their tagline. Once the driver gets going there’s a “Release” screen – designed to be boring – so that drivers aren’t enticed to use their phone. Once at the destination, points earned will be shown and users can choose to keep driving safely or use those points. Points can be redeemed for discounted products in the SafeDrive Marketplace. There’s even more to this app but being rewarded for good behavior sounds like a pretty good idea to us.