I’m on the road pretty much every day for work and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t see a distracted driver texting away as they are driving down a busy highway. The statistics about distracted driving are alarming. The number of deaths due to distracted driving is expected to exceed those from alcohol-related accidents by 2014. Yet no matter how many awful statistics we hear, it just doesn’t seem to help solve the problem.
Whether you’re a concerned parent or a business owner with a fleet of vehicles, you want to keep your family or employees safe when they are on the road. That leads me to one of my favorite modern-day questions: do they make an app for that?
The short answer is YES, there are several apps to help us stay safe on the road. What’s available basically falls into three categories. The first category I’ll call “The Honor System.” These apps let you voluntarily lock your phone in a safety mode while driving. They have a variety of tracking plans that will allow you to award your teen or employee for choosing to do the right thing. These apps will promote good behavior but will not always eliminate the risk.
The second category I’m calling “I Just Can’t Do It.” These are mainly apps that help you avoid texting in variety of ways, from automated responses to messages that tell the sender you’re busy driving, to one button pre-programed responses and other hands-free texting assistance.
The third category I’m calling “Eliminate the Temptation.” These apps literally eliminate the ability to text while driving. Your phone is locked and can’t be used while driving with the exception of calling 911 or receiving a hands-free incoming call.
Here are some of these apps:
This one can be used for a family or fleet. It helps stop texting while driving by allowing you to set up “no cell zones” that limit cell phone use based on specific locations and times. It has both an annual payment option and a monthly option starting at $6.99 per month.
Available for most Android phones, this app disables the texting option while driving. If anyone tries to disable or uninstall the application, you are notified. It appears to be one of the more cost-effective at $29.99 annually, but review scores are low so you may want to check it out in more detail before signing up.
This one is for both family and fleet. It uses a small, easy to install device inside the car to detect movement and stop the use of cell phones. It’s starting price is $89.99, but appears to do the job.
This one is designed for the business auto fleet owner. The functionality and tracking components would seem to be a fleet manager’s best friend. However, like most of the fleet options, you need to call for pricing.
The next time you are tempted to send a text while driving or see someone else texting behind the wheel, remember…there’s an app for that!