Texting while driving is a huge issue today, particularly amongst teenagers, who want to stay in constant communication with their friends. According to Distraction.gov, the average time a person’s eyes are off the road when texting is five seconds. When driving 55 MPH, that’s the equivalent of driving the length of a football field while blindfolded. To combat this, companies are coming out with apps disable the ability to send or receive texts when behind the wheel. Drivers should just automatically refrain from texting while driving, but if you are worried about your own self-control or your teens refusing to listen, these apps will help prevent texting while on the road.
This app makes sure that all of your incoming alerts are muted, phone calls are sent directly to your voicemail and you aren’t able to send text messages. The app can be set to automatically start once it senses that the device is moving at a speed of more than 25 MPH. When someone texts you, an automatic response is sent letting the person know you’re currently driving. Free; Android, BlackBerry
While Canary doesn’t actually have the ability to turn off text messaging capabilities while driving, it does let parents keep tabs on their kids. After setting the app up, parents receive real time notifications if there is any use of the phone when it is traveling more than 12 MPH; if they are exceeding speed limits; traveling into an area that the parents have designated as off-limits; or violating their curfew. Parents must utilize the phone’s built-in Parental Restrictions settings to make sure there’s no chance of the app being disabled. Free; Android, iOS
This app doesn’t just help alleviate the problem of texting while driving; it also can help parents prevent their kids from using their phones at inappropriate times, like at school or on the job. The app can be programmed to pause incoming and outgoing text messages during certain times of the day—like the regularly scheduled drive to and from school—as well as whenever the phone is in a certain geographic area. $6.99/month or $69.99/year; Android, BlackBerry, iOS (coming soon)