Messing around on your phone while driving might not seem as dangerous as sitting behind the wheel while intoxicated, but the scary truth of the matter is that it is…and then some!
According to Karen Bowman and her awareness campaign team at Drop It and Drive, 84 per cent of driving related fatalities in Canada were caused by distracted drivers in 2013. Compare that number to the 33 per cent caused by drivers under the influence and it couldn’t be any clearer – driving while distracted is a big problem.
So, what’s the solution? Bowman recommends keeping focus on the road and avoiding things that take your eyes or ears away from the task at hand like electronic devices, personal grooming or dealing with unrestrained pets.
Of course, there are some great tools on the market that aim to help distracted drivers too, and believe it or not, they come in the form of mobile apps. But rather than divert your attention away from the road, these apps block disruptions by locking your phone, blocking messages and silencing phone calls!
Below are some of the best distracted driving mobile apps available for smartphones…
A cool app (provided all of your contacts use it too), Wonder, lets contacts know that you’re in the car before an attempt to call or text you is made. Best part? The real-time status updates encourage friends to wait until a driver is free – creating a sense of responsibility for everyone involved.
2. Drive Beehive
The first rewards-based peer-to-peer mobile application, Drive Beehive, connects drivers to sponsors including friends, family, and schools that can then set rewards for the “safe miles” driven. Best part? Keep focused and safe out on the road and you’ll get fun prizes as an incentive to further the distracted driving awareness campaign!
Created by a Canadian organization, OneTap, offers an auto-reply function that responds to calls and texts to let senders know you’re driving and even gives a heads-up on when the trip is expected to end. Best part? When emergency texts are received, the app alerts the driver to pull over to accept a call!
4. No Text and Drive
Once a vehicle is driving at 10 mph or over, this app kicks in and locks the ability to text. Drivers can make emergency calls, if necessary, and there is also an override feature for passengers that want to access the phone. Best part? No Text offers a parent section that records a clear time log of when the app was in use for maximum accountability.
This iPhone app runs in the background and automatically wakes to lock your phone when driving (no texting or calls allowed). Configure it correctly and LifeSaver will notify a designated contact in the case of an emergency call. Best part? The Driver Portal feature was designed to score and keep track of rewards for safer driving.