Gone are the days of waving goodbye to your teen driver, then spending the rest of the day wondering if your child is OK. With the correct driver safety apps installed on a smartphone, you’ll know exactly where your child is, how fast your son or daughter is driving, and whether your teen is safe. Protect your child and put your mind at ease with the following four apps known for helping teen drivers stay focused when they’re behind the wheel.
This app notifies parents of their teen’s unsafe driving behaviors. It lets parents set the rules and allows them to monitor their child’s driving by sending real-time notifications if dangerous driving behaviors are employed, such as texting and talking on the phone while driving, exceeding a preset maximum speed limit, going into areas you’ve deemed off-limits, or staying out too late.
True Motion is compatible with iPhone and Android. It offers a free 14-day trial period, and a lifetime subscription is $14.99.
The Drive Smart app works to prevent distracted driving. In the basic version, the driver puts the app into drive mode, sending incoming calls to voicemail and silencing incoming texts.
The premium version, Drive Smart Plus, senses when the cell phone’s owner is in a moving vehicle and automatically goes into drive mode. Passengers can override drive mode, but parents are notified when their teen uses the override option. Drive Smart allows drivers to earn points for safe driving, which is a motivating feature for many teens.
Drive Smart is compatible with iPhone, Android, and Blackberry. The basic version is free, and Drive Smart Plus is $4.99 per month.
MamaBear allows you to closely monitor your teen’s driving speeds and behaviors. When GPS tracking is enabled, the app allows you to identify your child’s exact location. MamaBear sends you notifications when your child arrives at or leaves preset locations, allows you to monitor your child’s social media interactions, and alerts you when your child exceeds preset spending limits. While this app is a little invasive, it’s a good choice for brand-new drivers or those who’ve exhibited risky driving behaviors in the past.
MamaBear is compatible with Android and iPhone. The app is free, but MamaBear also offers a three-month premium, ad-free account for $14.99.
Autobrain consists of a device that plugs into your car and an app. Created by parents and a first responder, Autobrain reports back to you when your child speeds, goes to the wrong place or gets into an accident. It lets you set maximum driving speeds and alerts you when these speeds are breached. Its diagnostic features notify you about vehicle mechanical problems.
Autobrain is compatible with iPhone and Android. The device that plugs into your car is $29.97, and Autobrain charges a $9.97 monthly fee following a 30-day free trial period.
Set Up Your Teen for Success
Planning and preparation will help you and your teen get the most out of any smartphone driving program. Safe driving apps work best when you and your teen fully understand how to use them, your child’s phone is reliable, and your mobile network is fast.
A slow, unreliable network coupled with an old phone won’t give anyone peace of mind. In fact, the uncertainty may heighten your anxiety, so make sure to send off your child with the best of today’s cellular technology. An iPhone 8 Plus has the hardware to handle these apps. According to a recent study by OpenSignal, a company that specializes in wireless coverage mapping, T-Mobile offers the fastest network speeds available. Since dropped calls are unlikely and dead zones are rare on this reliable, fast network, an iPhone 8 Plus from a carrier such as T-Mobile will help ensure that your teen is able to communicate with you while away from home.
You’ll never stop worrying about your teen driver, but you can worry less. Make sure your child has plenty of supervised driving experience before heading out alone, and take advantage of today’s many apps and technological advances. Your child will be safer and you’ll feel better.