Prevent distracted driving with these 5 safe driving apps

October 5, 2020

Phones often contribute to distracted driving, but these 5 apps may help you prevent it

A person using an safe driving app to prevent distracted driving

Distracted driving can be a real problem - it causes people to speed, miss signals, and even have accidents. As you can imagine, using a phone is one of the most common kinds of distracted driving, and about 80 percent of people admit to using one while on the road. But like most tools, it's the way we use our phone that makes it either helpful or harmful. Today, we'll take a look at how your phone can actually help you prevent distracted driving with these 5 safe driving apps.

1. OneTap

OneTap is a driver safety app with a number of helpful features. When active, it blocks incoming calls and texts, responding with a message that informs the sender that you're behind the wheel. It can be activated each time you get in your car, or set to automatically activate when you begin moving. 

It also keeps track of safe driving data, such as how long you've gone without distractions. You can then share and compare with your family and friends who also have the app. Perhaps more importantly, parents with teen drivers can install this app on their kid's phone and link the accounts. This gives them the ability to see exactly how many distractions are blocked and also includes a map with GPS coordinates. 

2. EverDrive

You can use EverDrive to compete with family and friends regarding who is really the safest driver. EverDrive is an app that will encourage safe driving habits and can highlight issues with your driving that you might not have even known existed. A lot of people start driving early on and can develop bad habits because there's no one to correct them. You can't fix those bad habits if you don't know they exist.

This is part of gamification, where it can make it a lot easy to engage in better habits and safer behaviors by turning it into a game with rewards and competition.

3. AT&T DriveMode

AT&T DriveMode automatically detects when you're driving by using your GPS to detect your speed. If you're going above 15 mph, it will silence text messages and phone calls, which can help you avoid distractions. 

If you're an AT&T customer, the app will respond to any incoming texts or calls, informing the sender that you're focused on driving. Additionally, parents can opt to receive alerts if the app is disabled on their teen's phone. 

It is worth noting that as of September 30, 2020, AT&T discontinued downloads and support for this app on Android phones. However, those with iPhones should still have access. 

4. LifeSaver

LifeSaver is a fleet system that can tell your employer you're driving safely. If you have a business, you can also get your employees on this app to make sure they're driving safely when they're at work. With LifeSaver, the safest drivers can be rewarded by the company, and the company as a whole can promote safety.

LifeSaver is a great way to improve safety for a company as a whole and a company itself may even be able to see some direct savings in insurance. Fleet vehicles travel more regularly than other vehicles and may be more dangerous, so fleet management improves safety for everyone.

5. DriveMode

The truth is, there are a plenty of reasons a smartphone can be incredibly useful while driving. Navigation apps, for example, have made finding your way to unfamiliar places much easier. However, sometimes our phones suffer from too much functionality, and it can be incredibly dangerous to divert your attention towards it in order to sort through apps. 

DriveMode (not to be confused with AT&T DriveMode) was designed to take the most useful functions of your phone and make them easy to utilize with minimal distraction, if any. It creates an overlay on your screen with large buttons that allow you to access useful functions like navigation with a simple touch. It further enhances this by turning your phone into a (almost) hands-free device by reading messages and allowing you to respond with voice commands. 

While DriveMode may simplify your phone's functionality, it doesn't fully eliminate distractions. It is always better to pull over or have a passenger control navigation, respond to messages, or change the playlist. But if you need your phone to help you find your way through unfamiliar territory, DriveMode can help you navigate your phone's functions more safely.

"Do Not Disturb" feature

While many of these apps can certainly make driving with a phone safer, sometimes the best option is to remove the temptation altogether. For this purpose, many phones come with their own "Do Not Disturb" feature, which among other things, prevents notifications from coming through. For example, iPhones with iOS 11 and later have a setting that can automatically engage this mode when it detects that you're driving. Android phones also have such a mode, although the specific settings may vary based on your model. 

If you find that you have trouble with notifications, calls, and texts while driving, or if you want to be certain that your young driver is free from temptation, then this feature might be your best option. 

Smartphones provide some great opportunities for us to engage in safer behaviors. By installing the right apps on your phone, you can reduce distractions in your driving, and you can improve upon your own personal safety. Whether you want to drive better at work or you want to protect your family, these apps can help you reach your goals.

Two drivers using a safe driving app to navigate safely while driving

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by Geoff Ullrich

About the Author

Geoff Ullrich is a writer and Content Marketing Specialist at Germania Insurance.

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