April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and CARCHEX wants to make sure everyone is safe out there on the road, this month and every month. Distracted driving is any time your attention is away from the task at hand. Most Americans drive so often that we start to think that we can multi-task. However, when you need to react to something happening on the road around you, if you haven’t already been paying full attention, it might be too late.
“Distracted driving is one of the biggest causes of road fatalities in the U.S, responsible for as many as 20 percent of all crashes involving injury or death.” -Verizon Wireless
Many people think that distracted driving is a problem with teens and texting. But distracted driving is committed by every demographic, and texting is not the only form of distraction. Changing the radio, eating, applying makeup, reading (including maps), following a GPS, and even hands-free use of cell phones are all forms of distracted driving. These tasks don’t all take your eyes off the road, but they do force your brain to do two things at once, which is unsafe when you’re operating a powerful, fast-moving, heavy car.
However, texting while driving is one of the worst kinds of distracted driving and it is committed by every age group. Texting while driving increases the risk of crashing by 23%. There are apps that can be downloaded by the driver (or the driver’s parents) that will disable texts at a certain speed, therefore reducing the temptation. This being National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, make a conscious effort to be aware while driving. And if you think these are right for you, check out the apps and services below.
AT&T recently began offering DriveMode on their phones as part of the “It Can Wait” Campaign. When in this mode, texts are blocked and a customizable response is sent that you’re driving. Parents can also get an alert to tell them when DriveMode has been turned off.
For Android and Google phone users, the following apps provide a variety of ways to mitigate the temptation of texting while driving. Almost all of them track mph and will block texting. sSome have parental features so you know if your teen turns the app off. Some work int he background all the time and some need to be turned on during driving. These are certainly apps that help keep your eyes and mind on the road.
Apple has recently made news about technology that will create a lock-out, disabling drivers from being able to text while driving. Unfortunately, it has not been applied to iPhones, and the apps above are not available through the Apple App Store.
For information on the dangers of distracted driving, learn more here.