Auto accidents are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. A 2014 study from Safe Kids Worldwide revealed that teens who don’t use seat belts are also more likely to say they text while driving. That was compared to teens who do wear seat belts while driving. The study surveyed 1,000 teens aged 13 to 19 to determine why they were not wearing seat belts and to explore their texting habits. Here are some of the findings:
- About 39% of teens said they have ridden with a teen driver who was texting and 95% said they think other teens have done so as well.
- About 43% of teens reported riding as a passenger with a teen driver who was talking on the phone.
- More than 50% of teens surveyed said they have seen a parent talking on the phone while driving.
The 100 Deadliest Days
Texting while driving has been a big problem for teens. In fact, the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day is considered as the “100 Deadliest Days” for teenage drivers. However, this situation can be reduced. One way we can reduce the number of distracted drivers it through the use of phone apps.
Fight technology with technology
While smartphone distractions contribute to auto accidents, smartphones can actually keep teens safe on the road. There are a number of apps available that help prevent texting while driving. Check out the list below and use any of these apps to keep your teens from using their phones while driving.
- CANARY – TEEN SAFETY – This iOS/Android App can detect when teen drivers are engaging in a risky behavior. This sends real-time notifications to parents whenever teens use their phones while driving, exceed a speed limit, travel into off-limits areas, stay out past curfew and when they are near weather alerts.
- DRIVE SAFE MODE – This app from AT&T, the company behind “Texting and Driving: It Can Wait” campaign, helps avoid distractions from text alerts and incoming calls while driving. When enabled, it turns on automatically when driving 15 mph or more and turns off shortly after a stop. Its other key features include: alerting a parent if the app is turned off, allowing access to music and navigation with one touch and the ability to customize the home screen with a photo.
- DRIVESAFE.LY – Stay connected without causing any distraction by using this app. It reads text messages and emails out loud in real-time and automatically responds so teen drivers remain hands-free. There’s no need to touch the phone while driving.
- OVERWATCH – TEEN TEXTING AND DRIVING SAFETY – This iOS app uses the phone’s GPS and activates when the device travels over 15 mph. Notifications are sent to users reminding them not to use their phones while driving. Download this app on both the parent’s phone and their teen’s phone so that parents can easily monitor their child’s activity.
- TEXT LIMIT – This app was developed by Mobile Life Solutions, a Louisville company, to help prevent distracted driving. It limits what functions are available on the driver’s phone once it reaches a selected speed. Phones have to be registered at www.textlimit.com for the app to work properly.
As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I am alarmed that car crashes continue to be the leading cause of death for U.S. teenagers. I hope that through the use of smartphone apps and good driving behavior, we can help our kids stay safe while driving. Let’s do our part in stopping distracted driving. Always keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.