Most people know that distracted driving is dangerous driving, but far too many people still choose to use their smartphones to surf the web, use social media, or text while driving. Even otherwise responsible drivers often feel the urge to text others or respond to text messages that are sent to them while behind the wheel.
Fortunately, there many options available to help people avoid using their phones while driving, including auto-responders and do not disturb modes. Some safe driving apps even offer rewards for not using your phone while behind the wheel. A few helpful apps and features are described below.
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Auto-respond is a built-in feature on many phones, but some people may have difficulty locating or activating this feature. A few helpful apps that provide auto-response services include:
- In-Traffic Reply — If you own a Samsung phone, you can use the company’s In-Traffic Reply to make your phone send a preset reply to any text messages you receive while driving. In-Traffic Reply activates at speeds of more than 6 mph. It also detects when a person is moving through Global Positioning System (GPS) monitoring.
- Drivemode — Drivemode is an app that activates when the vehicle travels 15 mph or faster. It automatically replies to text messages while you are driving, and you can also silence incoming alerts and phone calls.
- Drive Safe — Drive Safe is another app that can send auto-reply texts and silence a phone while driving.
- Live2Txt — Live2Txt is an app that was designed by a police officer who understands firsthand the dangers of distracted driving. It provides custom replies to text messages and phone calls, and auto-sets the phone to silent. And a useful function for parents of teenage drivers: it can also text your phone whenever your child enables or disables the app.
- IFTTT — Also known as If This Then That, IFTTT is a more comprehensive app that can be programmed to automatically respond to a wide range of actions, from silencing your phone and auto-replying while you’re driving, to turning on the porch lights for the pizza delivery guy. It’s only available for Android users at this time.
“Do Not Disturb” Mode
Do not disturb (DND) is a built-in feature on most modern phones. Several Android phones running Android 6.0 Marshmallow can silence calls, alerts, and media sound, and the feature may be turned on immediately or scheduled for a certain time.
The settings of most iPhones also have a DND feature. If you cannot locate this feature on your phone, consider downloading Driving Detective, an app that automatically detects when a person is in a moving vehicle and activates the DND function.
Apps with Rewards for Safe Driving
People who desire additional incentives to not use their cell phones while driving may consider apps that have built-in reward systems. Some popular apps include:
- Milez — Designed specifically with teenagers in mind, Milez rewards teens for miles driven at more than 5 mph without cell phone usage by transferring money from their parents’ bank account for every 200 miles of distraction-free driving.
- LifeSaver — LifeSaver can run undetected and lock a phone when a vehicle begins moving. It prevents phone usage while driving and can notify parents when children have unlocked their phone or have arrived at their destination safely. LifeSaver gives drivers iTunes rewards for safe driving.
- TextNinja — With the MOTOVATE app, TextNinja designates miles driven without phone usage as “Safe Miles,”and these miles can be redeemed for various rewards or contributed to a nonprofit organization.
- SafeDrive — SafeDrive awards you points for not using your phone while driving, and the points can be used to purchase discounted products from partner companies.
Contact an Alabama Car Accident Lawyer
Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., helps people who have suffered serious injuries in distracted driving accidents in Birmingham and across the state of Alabama. If you were hurt in an accident caused by the reckless or negligent actions of another person, call us or contact us online today. Our consultations are always free, and we will not charge you anything unless and until we win your case.
Harvey B. Morris is a lifelong Alabamian who has been practicing law in Huntsville since getting his law degree and passing the state bar in 1966.