We’ve all seen the advertisements on the television and online: Safe driving apps aimed at keeping you safe while you’re in the car. With the ban on cell phone use in the car catching fire across the nation, one begins to wonder whether driving apps are really safe, or do they pose a threat to drivers and those sharing the road with them. If you’ve got a teenage driver, or you’re a driver yourself, here’s some food for thought:
1.Driving Distracted Is Dangerous
Chances are that you’re as guilty as the next driver of taking your eyes off of the road to yell at the kids in the back seat, change the station on the radio, fix your hair in the mirror or even check your email. Each time your eyes leave the road, you are raising the potential for a collision. Distracted driving results in thousands of accidents every year. While safe driving apps are geared towards keeping you safe in the car, taking your eyes off of the road to use them can prove fatal.
2.Apps Can’t Replace Training
The first step in teaching your child how to be a responsible driver is training them well. You are the role model that your child will look to when they are learning how to drive. The lessons that you impart on your teen will help him or her a hundred times more than any app ever will. As more safe driving apps are released, more parents may be lax when it comes to teaching their children how to drive safely; relying on apps to do the job for them.
3.Apps Can Be Helpful
Safe driving apps can be helpful when relied on as an aid rather than as a replacement to proper instruction. There are apps that can help you contact emergency services if you are in an accident, can keep track of your teen’s driving habits, and even apps that can help you locate the nearest gas station when the needle is edging dangerously toward empty. When you utilize these apps as they are intended, they can be a great service to both new and experienced drivers.
4.Teach Good Habits
If you are going to allow your teen driver to utilize safe driving apps, or even if you are suggesting that your teen uses these apps, you’ve got to teach them good habits. Your teen should have a windshield mounted cradle for his or her smartphone or hands-free kit so he or she doesn’t have to look away from the road to use the apps. Your teen should also be made aware that there are consequences that will result if they choose to text or talk on the phone while they are driving. While you can’t be with your teen 100% of the time, you can do your best to ensure that they are at least aware of both your rules and the rules of the road.
5.Some of the Best Apps
Before you download any safe driving app, you should read the reviews and feedback from users. Not all apps are created equally; some are more helpful than others. Here are some favorite safe driving apps to look at: TextArrest, Safe Driver, Drivesafe.ly Pro and Dangers of Distracted Driving. These are only four great apps that are worth taking a second look at; there are dozens more. The safest driving apps are those that block text messages, incoming calls and even disable cell phones when cars are moving above a certain rate of speed.
Safe driving apps are useful when used properly. Perhaps the term “safe driving app” is an oxymoron but, when used properly, these applications can help you or your teenager become a safer, more responsible driver.