Teenagers can make mistakes, but mistakes while driving can hurt themselves and others. Here are some apps to prevent teen distracted driving. We explain the pros and cons of each.
True Motion and Mojo are apps created to help families and individuals with their driving habits. It is an app that puts the onus of one’s actions while driving on themselves. TrueMotion works well with families as much like a Fitbit, it tracks your actions while driving and has you compete against your family members. This means that old saying, “Do as I say, not as I do” goes out the window. Mojo is an individual app that works with participating stores to give you incentives to drive better. The more miles you drive safely, the more points you receive to redeem in participating stores. It works the same as TrueMotion, tracking your phone activity while driving as well as your speed.
These apps are a great idea as they don’t shut down your phone but educate the user on habits that cause them to drive distracted. The competition aspect makes it fun for everyone, holding everyone involved accountable. The incentives are also nice for those who do not want to compete. Both applications are free to download and use.
This app allows parents complete control over a phone through an online login and the app. The app must be downloaded onto the recipient’s phone and synced with the online account. The app notifies parents when the teen is driving, disabling the app, and when they have arrived. The parent can set parameters and block notifications while the teen is driving. It is completely free and efficient on battery usage.
CellControl is a two part system comprising of an installed console behind the rear view mirror and the driver’s cellphone. It is a unique program that is designed to disable only the driver’s phone, leaving other passengers free to use their phones normally. It allows the user to customize what apps are blocked and it monitors and tracks your driving habits. The app and console come with a monthly subscription fee of 7.95 or 9.95 a month.
A subscription based app that allows the user to set the speed at which the phone disables. Once the phone is back under the the predetermined speed the app restores all features once more. It does not distinguish between drivers and passengers and does not allow an emergency disable code. It also will not work without an internet connection. It is $25 a year per phone.
When it comes to your child’s safety, anything is worth it. We suggest sitting down with your teen and having a conversation about their driving habits and figuring out which apps would work well within your family. Teens are the highest at risk for dying while driving distracted, and sometimes invasive maneuvers are needed to ensure their safety.
A graduate of George Washington University of National Law Center, Thomas J. Curcio is an author, speaker, and personal injury attorney. He has been named one of DC Best Lawyers Personal Injury Litigation and co-author of “Evidence for the Trial Lawyer." His experience includes the successful representation of injured passengers of the 2009 WMATA (DC Metro) Fort Trotten train crash.