7 smartphone apps to keep teen drivers safe
By Melissa Brodsky
Keys and license in hand, your teen heads out the front door. The freedom of being behind the wheel — and away from parents — is such an allure for most kids. But it’s a scary time for parents.
Between texting and driving issues, talking on their cell phones and other distractions, how do we, as parents, keep our children safe when they’re out driving around and away from our protection?
While they aren’t fail-proof, there are much needed apps that can aid in keeping our teen drivers safe. Here are seven to check out:
- Sprint Drive First automatically locks your teen’s cellphone when the car goes faster than 10 miles per hour, and also has an override in case of any emergencies. It’s free to install and costs $2 per month.
- Speedbump is an Android-based app that alerts parents on how their kids are driving. There is a $9.99 monthly fee for this app.
- Phoneguard Drive Safe is another Android-based app that blocks incoming calls and texts. It sends out auto-replies when the car is in motion, allowing the teen to focus on what’s important … the road ahead.
- Drive Safe.ly is a free mobile app that reads incoming texts out loud so drivers never have to take their hands off the wheel.
- Car Parental Control allows parents to track where their kids are and records the speed of the car. The user (your teen) is not able to change the settings, which is good because the truth will always be known.
- Otter is free on Android. When the car goes over 10 miles per hour, texts that come in receive an auto reply.
- Texecution is an app that disables texting. It also sends an alert to parents if the teen tries to uninstall it.
Quick tips for raising safe drivers:
- If you can afford to, enroll your teen in driver’s education classes.
- Practice driving with your teens and continue to ride with him or her periodically once the license is in hand.
- Keep a constant line of communication open with your teen. Your child needs to be constantly reminded of the perils of driving, but also needs to know you are there and available to listen.
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