Distracted driving is one of the nation’s biggest causes of traffic accidents. The habit claims nine lives on the US roadways every day, and in 2019 alone, it was responsible for 424,000 injuries across the country.
There are different kinds of distractions: those that involve your hands, those that involve your eyes, and those that involve your mind. All of these forms of distraction are deadly.
When it comes to things that cause distraction, cell phones are the most common, engaging your mind, hand, and eyes at the same time. That makes a cell phone the most dangerous device you can have while driving.
This post highlights some phone safety features that can help reduce distracted driving.
Built-in Safety Features
You may not realize it, but your phone has features that can help keep you less distracted on the road.
The airplane mode isn’t just important when you’re flying. It comes in handy whenever you don’t want distractions.
Airplane mode shuts off all of the vital functions of your phone without shutting down the phone itself. With the phone signal cut, you won’t be distracted by phone calls, text messages, or emails.
Most phones have airplane mode functionality unless they are not smartphones. The feature is easy to locate, found in the notification section of your screen. It’s the mark that looks like an airplane.
Do Not Disturb
Besides the airplane mode, most smartphones also come with a Do Not Disturb feature.
Depending on your phone’s operating system and maybe even model, the feature may have varying specifics.
Do Not Disturb is simple. It completely cuts off notifications. You won’t see phone calls or any alerts coming through. For users with devices running on iOS 11, driving triggers the Do Not Disturb mode.
Third-Party Apps for Safe Driving
Aside from built-in features, there are many apps for Android and iOS operating systems that automate activities to reduce distracted driving. Here are a few:
OnMyWay is an app that disables notifications and text alerts when your driving speed exceeds 10 mph. Considering driving at 55 mph while going through a text is akin to driving blindly through a football field, having the phone disabled at 10 mph is lifesaving.
However, the app allows you to receive calls via a Bluetooth device. OnMyWay is available on both android and iPhone devices.
EverDrive encourages safe driving habits. The app monitors how you drive and gives you a review. You’ll see your score; the more you adjust your skills to drive safer, the higher the score.
The app teaches you to drive better, and to avoid making the experience boring, EverDrive creators have made things competitive. If you become a top EverDriver, it comes with a cash prize.
Does your phone come with an auto-responder?
For people without such a feature on their phones, there are apps that send automated text messages to incoming phone calls and texts on your behalf. You’ll be able to reply to loved ones and clients with a customized message.
Some of these apps to consider include:
This app has standard auto-replies, or you can create your own. It works with WhatsApp, regular text, and even Messenger if your phone runs on an android system higher than 7.0.
Drivemode detects when you’re driving and allows you to use the app to send hands-free audio commands and safely receive phone calls. It also enables you to do navigation searches.
The app works with SMS and Facebook Messenger but also allows you to add music apps like Spotify and Pandora.
TextDrive takes over the texting for you when you’re driving. It can read incoming messages from messaging platforms and emails and respond with a recorded message. Activation is automatic via Bluetooth.
Safe 2 Save
Safe 2 Save is an app born out of a safe driving initiative. It works on an incentive-based idea to discourage texting while driving.
You accumulate redeemable points for driving safely. Once you have enough points, you can redeem them at your local businesses.
Distracted driving is a huge problem causing injuries and death daily. For negligent drivers, there are also legal and financial consequences. JT Legal Group has collected over $2 billion in compensation, which goes to show that a few seconds of negligence could lead to heavy financial losses on top of injuries and loss of life.