Stop Typing and Start Driving! Apps to Prevent Texting While Driving
Texting while driving is a growing problem across the United States. Studies have shown the motorists who text while behind the wheel are more likely to be involved in accidents. Texting-while-driving laws vary from state to state, but the epidemic has inspired several cell phone companies and application inventors to raise awareness about the risks of texting while driving.
Here are some mobile apps that can help drivers kick the texting habit:
- Drive Safe.ly reads text messages, SMS and emails out loud in real time. Drivers can also set up auto-responders so that they can respond to texts without even having to touch their phone. Before hitting the road, users can enable Drive Safe.ly to play text messages out loud and respond with a standard response, such as “I’m driving now and can’t respond to your text. I’ll be back in touch when I’m off the road.” When not driving, users can easily disable the app. Free and available on iPhone and Android.
- Drive Safe Mode disables a user’s phone while the vehicle is in motion and allows for parental controls. It is currently available for Cricket phones but may soon be coming to iPhone and Android devices.
- SafeCell can block incoming calls and text messages when the user is driving. It also notifies callers when the user is driving, as long as the app is enabled. Available on iPhone and Android for $11.99.
- Safe Texting Campaign detects when the user is driving and prevents texts from being received while the phone is in motion. It is aimed at teen drivers who pledge not to text and drive. Available only for iPhone.
- TextSmart DriveSafe blocks calls that come in when the user is moving faster than one mph. There is also an auto-responder option to send to people trying to contact the user. Available on iPhone and Android.
- Drive Alive is an app that monitors the user’s phone usage while driving and offers rewards for safe driving by giving the user items like coupons or gift cards. Available for $4.99 for iPhone and Android.
- Cellcontrol blocks cell phones from being used and detects immediately when the vehicle is moving. Parents can buy this app for their entire family and can configure it online without their teen’s ability to manage it.
- Textecution disables the driver’s ability to send texts if the device is in a vehicle moving faster than 10 mph. Passengers still have the ability to text, by sending a request. Available on Android for $29.99.
— By Mike Ritter