Distracted driving is the leading cause of car accidents in the United States, and cell phones play a role in 25% of all distracted driving crashes, according to the National Safety Council. Yet we rely on our phones as GPS devices that help us get from point A to point B and stay connected with family and friends. So to help you stay distraction free, without necessarily chucking your cell phone, here are 7 apps that actually help you keep your focus on the road.
  1. CamOnRoad
With the CamOnRoad app and a dashboard mount, your cell phone becomes a dash cam, taking video of your trip, even in background mode. It also has safety features such as speed monitoring, and it helps you make and take calls hands-free. The app will also automatically alert emergency services if it detects that you’ve been in a crash.
  1. AutoMate
AutoMate is an app for Android that helps you use your phone while driving, without being distracted from the road. It integrates with navigation and allows you to access favorite contacts and dial a number, all hands-free with voice command.
  1. Waze
Waze is a crowd-sourced navigation app that gives you real-time traffic info. Other users of the app feed information into it about traffic conditions, if there’s a speed trap, and even gas prices.
  1. Google Maps’ New Driving Mode
The latest update of Google Maps has a new Driving Mode that uses your history to alert you to traffic incidents and shorter routes, without having to enter a destination.
  1. Automatic Smart Driving Assistant
Although this app is more costly than the others on our list, the Automatic Smart Driving Assistant is packed with features that help you (or your teen driver) be a smarter, safer driver. It comes with 24/7 crash response, which connects you with a professional agent to assist with alerting emergency services if the app detects that you’ve been in a collision. It has a “do not disturb while driving” feature that disables your phone’s keyboard. When paired with an adapter, the app can be plugged into your car’s diagnostics port to give you real-time info on gas mileage and car performance. Finally, it can even help you locate your parked car.
  1. iCarMode – Dashdroid
Want to use your phone to make a call, get directions, or listen to music while driving? These two apps – iCarMode for iPhone and Dashdroid for Android – help you access these features on your phone without distracting you from the road. These apps automatically detect when you are driving, and will pull up to the forefront of your phone. They block texts and phone calls, and can send an automated reply to incoming texts, letting your friends know that you’ll get back to them when you’ve completed your trip.
  1. DriveSafe.ly
DriveSafe.ly is simple: it’s an application that reads texts to you, automatically as they are sent to you. If you get the premium version of the app, it will even read incoming emails to you. You can also set it to automatically respond to texts. The Best Way to Avoid Being Distracted While these apps can help you stay connected with your phone while driving, the best method for distraction-free driving is to eliminate your phone from the equation entirely. Put it away in your glove compartment to keep it out of sight and out of mind. But if you must use your phone on the road, these 7 apps can help you do so safely and conveniently.