As a parent, you watch your child hit all the milestones. There’s that first gummy smile, the first few words, and those first wobbly steps. Far too quickly, those milestones get bigger. Suddenly your small child has blossomed into a teenager itching to get behind the wheel of a car.
But how do you keep them safe? After all, the U.S. Department of Transportation reports that “Teen drivers have a higher rate of fatal crashes, mainly because of their immaturity, lack of skills, and lack of experience.”
While you can’t physically be in the car every time your teen sets out for a day out with friends, you can help ensure your teenager’s safety with a bit of help from their smartphone. Yes, you read that right. Several safe-driving apps can reinforce smart habits that your kid has already learned in driving school and from driving with you.
Read on to learn more about some of the best teen driving apps, along with safe driving tips for anyone on the road.
Safe Driving Apps
Here are three of the best apps for teenage drivers that can help keep them focused and give you insight into their in-the-car habits:
This teen driving app gets a lot of buzz … and for good reason. Not only can you easily locate your teen’s whereabouts at any time with the free version, but the Driver Safety feature includes crash detection that senses collisions over 25 mph and a driving summary of all the miles your teen covers in a week. Individual driver reports show you phone usage while in the car, hard braking, high speeds, and rapid accelerations.
Want to reward your teen for being a responsible driver? The free SAFE 2 SAVE app provides a bit of gamification in the process. They can open the teen driving app before they start their vehicle. The app allows them to accrue points when eliminating in-car distractions like texting. Later, they can redeem those points at businesses such as Starbucks, McDonald’s, and other local retailers, incentivizing them to put safe driving into practice.
This free safe-driving app also uses a smartphone to measure how your teen drives. It detects stops and starts, phone distractions, speeding, and braking. Each user can collect stars and even compete against friends to determine who’s the safest driver.
Other Ways to Reduce Driving While Distracted
Teen driving apps are a great way to reduce distractions and help you keep tabs on your teens. It’s also up to your teenagers to make good decisions whenever they get behind the wheel. Here are a few other practical ways your teens can use to reduce or eliminate distracted driving:
Before turning on the car, ensure everything you need is within arm’s reach. Go through a checklist of things you may reach for, like gum or mints, keys, wallet, directions, or glasses, so you’re not reaching into the back seat while the car is in operation.
Sometimes you need to use the phone, whether to call Mom or Dad or to pull up directions. It’s tempting to sit at a light or glance down while driving. The safest alternative, however, is pulling into a parking lot or along a safe neighborhood street to take that call, send that text or check those directions.
Put Your Phone on Do Not Disturb Mode … or Put It Away
Fortunately, both Androids and iPhones have built-in features to help you reduce distractions in the car. Set your phone to automatically turn on Do Not Disturb mode, or activate it before you get in the car. To reduce further temptation, keep your phone out of sight and out of reach, placing it in the back seat, the glove compartment, or a bag.
Save the Snacks for Later
How many times have you fumbled with opening a snack wrapper or a fast food box? Running through a drive-thru for food and drinks is fine, but keep your eyes on the road and wait until you reach your destination to savor your meal or beverage.
Set the Mood for Focused Driving
Much like classical music can enhance your absorption of class materials before a big test, it also can help you stay focused on the road. Choose tunes that are soothing or calming, and queue up that playlist before you get behind the wheel.
Avoid Passenger Distractions
You’re a new driver who wants to cart your friends around in your car. And while having a co-pilot is nice, passengers can be distracting. If you do have a friend sitting next to you, politely ask them to refrain from distracting behavior, whether it’s scrolling TikTok, playing games, or filling you in on the latest school gossip.
Skip Drowsy Driving
You may pull all-nighters for exams, but resist the urge to get behind the wheel when you’re tired. Falling asleep at the wheel can be deadly, as is driving when you’re not as alert as usual. Roll the windows down to get some air, but if that doesn’t wake you up, pull over into a safe spot and take a break.
Teen safety on the road is serious business. Ensure that your teen’s next milestone moment—getting that driver’s license—is a positive one! Call us today to get a fast, free quote on your teen’s car insurance!