You’re at the DMV. You check your phone. You’re at the doctor’s office. You check your phone. You’re at a stoplight. You che—wait! You know you’re not supposed to check your phone when you’re behind the wheel (it’s illegal in many states), but ditching the habit is just so hard! Thankfully, these apps can help you stay distraction-free while driving.
Safe Driving Apps
1. AT&T DriveMode
Availability: Android & iOS
This app was developed by AT&T but is available for both Android and iOS phones, regardless of the carrier. AT&T DriveMode detects when your vehicle starts moving and automatically replies to texts you receive while driving. What does the app say? It alerts those texting you that you’re behind the wheel, letting them know you will reply when it’s safe to do so. Additionally, if you’re a parent, AT&T DriveMode can send you text alerts if your kid turns the app off, disables auto-mode, or adds a new speed-dial contact
If you or your contacts prefer speaking in Spanish, change your language preferences—the app, its automated texts, and parental notifications can easily be set to español!
2. Down for the Count
Need an incentive to drive safer? How about your friends and family’s love and a little cash? Down for the Count app allows you to set a safe driving goal and share it with your loved ones, asking them to sponsor your safe driving “campaign.” Once your campaign begins, the app tracks your phone use behind the wheel. When you reach your goal, you can cash out with a restaurant, retail, or reloadable gift card of your choice. Like their tag line says, you can use Down for the Count to help, “Stop the texts. Stop the wrecks. Earn the rewards!”
Availability: Android & iOS
Does push notification temptation get the best of you? Likes and texts can wait. The stop sign in front of you can’t—and the developers of the LifeSaver app know it! Once you start driving, the app unnoticeably kicks in. If you try to activate your phone display from behind the wheel, it’ll show a lock screen, preventing you from checking your notifications.
Even while your display is locked, LifeSaver allows you to take calls via a Bluetooth-enabled device. If you’re a passenger, it has a passenger-unlock function that you can use to override the app.
LifeSaver also lets you set exceptions for some contacts so that you’re notified of their messages even when you’re driving, just in case you are expecting an important text. However, the app is known to drain the battery quicker than most, so try and keep a phone charger handy!
Drivemode simplifies your phone’s display screen while you drive. The basic interface makes it easier to access your favorite functions without taking your eyes or mind off the road. You can customize which apps, contacts, and widgets show up on the Drivemode dash. It’s designed to integrate seamlessly with other top apps like Waze, Spotify, Google Play, and even Google Voice Assistant. Plus, Drivemode gives you live speed limit alerts so you can better avoid speeding tickets!
5. Drivemode Dash
Compared to Android, iOS is a lot more restrictive of how much an app can change a phone display’s look and functionality. So, the developers of Drivemode created an Apple-friendly version for iPhone users called Drivemode Dash. Drivemode Dash has four buttons, which users can tap to quickly go to their navigation, phone, music, or messaging apps. It is designed to work with iPhones’ voice search function and other top applications such as Apple Music and Google Maps.
Why Use Safe Driving Apps?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 9 deaths and 1,000 injuries happen in the U.S. every day due to distracted driving. While Phone use isn’t the only cause of distracted driving, texts and calls are big contributors.
If the lifesaving benefits of safe driving don’t make you want to download these free apps now (like right now), consider this: driving safely could get you a discount on car insurance. By staying violation- and accident-free for a certain amount of time, you could save up to 10% on your auto insurance. Start using these helpful apps and set your navigation destination to the city of savings, with affordable car insurance from your local Direct Auto.
Do you use any apps that deserve to be on this list? Leave a comment below to let us know!