Using your phone while driving is such a bad habit, but also one which is so easy to pick up. I’ll admit, I have had many moments of weakness where I use my phone to browse social media or to text my friends instead of giving the road my full attention. I know I am not alone in this struggle because the world we live in today demands immediacy and the desire to be constantly connected to the internet has never been higher.
However, using your phone while driving is extremely dangerous; texting and driving makes it 23 times more likely for an accident to happen and in 2011, at least 23% of auto collisions involved cell phones, (source). Because this is such an important issue, AT&T has created the It Can Wait 21 day campaign, where drivers can pledge to not use their phones while driving for 21 days. The hope is that after 21 days, not using your phone while driving will become a habit and by taking part of the campaign, you will be beginning a life-long commitment. To learn more about the It Can Wait campaign and why you should pledge, check out my post.
I have also found 5 apps which actually help keep your phone distractions to a minimum while driving, and compiled them into a list below. These apps are designed to keep your eyes on the road and off your phone to ensure the safety of you and those around you.
1. AT&T DriveMode App
This is my to pick! I have been using it while committed to my 21 day pledge and am so impressed with the quality of this app.
AT&T DriveMode is free and available to wireless users of all carriers. This safe driving app helps prevent distractions while driving by silencing incoming alerts. The app automatically activates when car speeds reach 15 MPH and deactivates when the speed drops below 15 MPH for 2-3 minutes. This app also features a parental control setting which will alert parents when their teens have turned off the safe driving mode. DriveMode will also send a personalized safe driving message in response to text messages that are received while in the safe driving mode and also gives you one-touch access to key contacts, and music and navigation apps. This app is compatible with both Apple and Android devices.
With Cellcontrol, the ability to text while driving, read or post to Facebook or Twitter, take a selfie, play a game, SnapChat, or you name it, is limited to a pre-defined policy of what can or cannot be done with a mobile device when the vehicle is in motion. This app is able to determine when the vehicle is in motion, but allows the passengers full freedom to use their phones, while the driver-zone remains fully protected. Cellcontrol also gives parental controls, which send alerts to the parents when their teens have turned off the driving mode while driving. This app is comparable with both Apple and Android devices. Purchase of the Cellcontrol hardware device is required in order for this app to function.
With SafeDrive, driving safely without any distractions from your phone will give you points, which you can later use to receive products from responsible companies. Each product in the market place has its responsibility price, as you drive more responsibly, you earn more points to exchange for your favorite products. All you need to do is put your phone on the safe driving mode when you drive–which will mute notifications and display a “boring” page with no distractions. This app is free and compatible with Apple and Android products.
LifeSaver mutes notifications from your apps so you to ensure there are no distractions from your phone while driving. The app will also alert loved ones when the driver has turned off the save drive mode. LifeSaver also notifies people when their loved ones arrive home safely. LifeSaver is free and compatible with both Android and Apple products.
The purpose of Focus is to help train yourself to focus on the road, despite distraction. Because of this, the app does not block out notifications, instead it displays a screen which tells you to focus on the road. Focus automatically starts up when you’re driving your car. If you pick up your phone and look at the screen, you’ll be gently reminded to put it down and focus on the road. If you’re stubborn and keep using your phone, Focus might get angry. This app is free and available in the Apple app store.
Remember, using your phone while driving not only puts you in danger, but everyone else around you as well. No text or notification is worth the consequences of driving with distractions. Drive responsibly!