Could an app help you become a safer driver?
From preventing distracted driving to helping you plan your route, could a mobile/cell phone app contribute to safer driving?
First things first, driving and mobile/cell phones DO NOT MIX. In no way whatsoever am I going to advise you to use your mobile/cell phone while you are in control of a vehicle. But what I am going to do is look at whether there is a place for smartphone technology in helping drivers become even safer on the roads.
I’ve picked out some apps that could help you brush up your skills, plan your route, monitor vehicle maintenance, check your knowledge of road signs and help you teach your children to be safer road users. There are also apps which can help parents to monitor the driving of teenage children.
Overwatch – Teen Texting and Driving Safety
If you are the parent of a teenage driver this app could help you prevent your teen from texting and driving. Using GPS to monitor movement it activates when the device travels at over 15mph. You can check whether your teen has turned the app off, deleted it or overridden it as a passenger.
Playing it Safe: Road Safety
Teaching road safety is something that should start at a young age, and this app is aimed at helping young children to learn about staying safe on the roads. Players choose their character and then look after them as they explore the world, including helping them choose the right clothes and accessories to stay safe in different situations.
If you are planning a road trip this app can help you to organise your route and also help you to stay safe. Route planning is an important element of safe driving as it helps ensure you stick to the safest roads, know exactly where you are going and avoid any unplanned detours. Using Google Maps the app allows you to plan your route, add names, descriptions, arrival and departure dates, numbers etc. You can also share your route with others.
Vehicle maintenance forms an important part of safe driving as it helps prevent breakdowns caused by vehicle faults. This app enables you to keep track of everything involved in keeping your vehicle in good shape – including services, repairs, fuel, tyre pressures and even the date and location that your vehicle was last washed!
Yes, this is a game, but unlike most other driving games it enables you to put your safe driving skills to the test. You must safely navigate work zones while getting to your destination on time – whilst remembering to obey the speed limit at all times. This might not apply to real-life driving but it does highlight the importance of safe driving and could serve as a useful learning resource, especially for younger teens and new drivers.
Safe & Sound – Personal Safety App
While not specifically aimed at drivers, this personal safety app could be useful for you if you are ever required to drive in isolated places. It provides security by tracking your activities, registering your location and recording audio data that can be sent to a list of emergency contacts in the event of an unexpected situation.
Traffic Signs UK
Using this app you can brush up on your knowledge of UK road signs via a study mode, time attack or quiz. It can be useful as a quick refresher for UK drivers or as a helpful resource for people based overseas who are planning to drive in the UK.
The weather plays an important role in safe driving and this app helps you keep track of the weather conditions in as many cities as you like. You can enter start and end locations, map out trips and check weather for the next seven days.
Find My Kids – Footprints
Teenage drivers are the ones most at risk on the road – especially in their first few months of driving. Setting restrictions on where they can drive and at what times can be helpful – particularly if you impose a ban on night-time driving, which is when teen drivers are most at risk. This app can assist with monitoring whether your teen is adhering to restrictions as it shares locations automatically, in real time.
Relax: Stress and Anxiety Relief
You should never drive while highly stressed as this can lead to risk-taking, mistakes and distracted behaviour – which can have disastrous consequences. If you are feeling stressed it is important to take ‘time out’ to relax before you get behind the wheel. This app can help provide stress relief through guided breathing and meditation exercises.
Smartphones must not be a distraction
Distracted driving is a leading cause of vehicle collisions around the world. One More Second wants to help all drivers and their families to practice safe driving habits.
Technology can play a role in helping people become safer drivers, whether it is by helping you brush up on your own skills, planning and sharing routes, keeping track of vehicle maintenance, monitoring your teen’s driving habits or teaching your young children about road safety. Just remember: you must NEVER use a mobile/ cell phone or other similar device while driving.
One More Second has provided the names of the above apps for the purpose of highlighting the role technology can play in safe driver education. One More Second does not endorse the material included in any of the applications and cannot be held responsible for the reliability of content contained within any app. There may be a charge to use some of the apps mentioned.