The last thing drivers should be doing is spending time on their phone
while behind the wheel, especially since distracted driving remains a
major culprit behind
crashes, thousands of
Indiana car accidents every year, some fatal. In fact, reading just one text message will keep
a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds, enough
time to run a traffic light or not see a pedestrian crossing the road.
Law enforcement officials agree, if the distracted driving trend continues
it will surpass deaths from DUI in the next two years.
However, several safe driving apps have been created to directly block
a driver from using their phone or help keep a driver’s attention
off of their phone and on the road. The team at Wagner Reese recently
researched several driver navigation apps and compiled a list for what
might be considered the best of what is around for both safety and usefulness
of apps made to help drivers navigate and travel safely.
Most users agree with us that
Google Maps is one of the best driver navigation apps on the market. The app runs
using a detailed map of the surrounding area as drivers move along, much
like a GPS would do. We like this app because when an operator is in “driving
mode,” Google can do the search work for the operator. For example,
a driver can ask Google to activate voice search to find directions or
locations that might be of interest. A driver will not have a reason to
hold a phone in their hand the entire time while using the app. The digital
map will drive itself while prompting directions to be delivered over
a phone loudspeaker or car radio system. The real trick here is for a
driver to learn how to use
Google Maps hands-free features BEFORE they begin to operate the vehicle. Google also
reads back search and route results for driving, biking, and walk-to functionality
using traditional as well as satellite map options to find where you are
going. Users can also find construction, weather conditions and forecasts
along any driving route.
Waze (recently bought out by Google) is a great navigation app that “allows
an army of other users to report traffic alerts.” It collects user
information in a crowdsourcing way and can track a person’s driving
and show them any upcoming bottleneck traffic, congestion, crashes, and
construction that may make traveling unsafe or a commute worse. This helps
drivers stay alert and proactive because users input data as they see
or encounter it allowing fellow drivers to avoid congestion, accidents,
and other roadway and travel issues. One big perk — this information
is almost always more up-to-date than similar apps.
Car dashboard apps seem to be popular, and
AutoMate continues to lead the pack as a dashboard app because of the app’s
easy display of upcoming calendar events, email that is read to a driver
who can then respond to incoming messages, and it can manage your music
controls. AutoMate also works well with route service apps like Google
Maps. The only negative review we have for AutoMate is that there are
some user functions that need to be operated by tapping on the screen.
We recommend drivers save that for when at a complete stop or when pulled
over, not driving the vehicle.
ReadItToMe will do just that. This app will read every notification a driver will
receive and also any messages as they come in real-time. Drivers can choose
which apps are read out loud but they can also filter specific functions
and even contacts who may be a distraction.
Navigation apps are great and voice control is perfect for commuters and
people who travel for work but our favorite driving apps include those
that require someone to do as little looking at the screen as possible.
A lot of these apps are great for teen drivers but can be used by anyone.
Drivemode will provide a hands-free overlay for any of the apps a driver is already
using. Operators can block or receive calls with a wave, swipe blindly
to launch music apps and control playback, and create auto-reply messages
for anyone who texts you.
SafeDrive monitors the location and driving practices of newly-licensed teen drivers.
The app also can alert parents via text or e-mail when their teen drivers
exceed a specific speed and shows where infractions occurred.
The goal of this
app is to help teens stay connected while keeping their hands on the wheel.
Texts and e-mails are read aloud and the app automatically responds without
touching a button and it is also Bluetooth and radio transmitter compatible.
LifeSaver uses GPS and several other technologies to lock a driver’s smartphone
while the car is in motion. LifeSaver stays quiet running in the phone’s
background and is transparent to the driver when not driving.
The app also allows the driver to receive hands-free, inbound calls and
to hear navigation prompts while driving. All other apps are disallowed
by LifeSaver during driving unless the driver becomes a passenger and
clicks the ‘Passenger Unlock’ button.
There are many more safe driving apps available and we encourage drivers
of all ages to do a search in the app store to find programs that are
of interest to specific driving skills or scenarios. Check back soon for
more ways to stay safe on the Indiana roadways.
Every single day, people are hurt or even killed due to an accident directly
related to distracted driving. If you have suffered injuries as a result
of dangerous driver or have been involved in an accident resulting in
the death of a loved one, the attorneys at
Wagner Reese can assist you in pursuing the compensation you deserve and to cover a
loss of wages while injured. There is no risk, as we never collect any
kind of fee unless your case is settled or won. Contact us today at (888) 204-8440
for more information or to schedule a free consultation.