New Smartphone Apps to Protect Your Teen Driver

Girl using a driving app on her smartphone

Technology has come a long way in the last 20 years. Most teens now carry a cell phone, and while phones can pose dangers while driving, they can also be used to protect your child. Many parents may not be aware of the many apps and other technological advancements that are currently available to them that can be used to monitor their teen drivers.

Best Smartphone Apps for Parents

You can’t always be with your kids when they are driving, but with these apps, you are never very far away.  Here are some of the best apps for keeping young drivers safe. Most offer free trial periods, so you may want to try out a few to find the one that's easiest and most intuitive for you.

App Name: Drivesafe.ly Pro

  • Function: Allows hands-free use of cell phone functions while driving
  • Compatibility: Android, iPhone and BlackBerry
  • Price: Free trial period, then $13.95/year; family plans are available for $34.95/year
  • About: When turned on, this app allows full hands-free operation of the user’s smartphone. You can use it while driving to read and send emails and texts using only your voice. While this may still be a bit of a distraction to teen drivers, it is far safer than taking their eyes off the road or their hands off the wheel to engage in communication.

App Name: Canary

  • Function: Notifies parents of unsafe driving practices
  • Compatibility: Android and iPhone
  • Price: Free for seven days, then $14.99 one-time fee for lifetime subscription
  • About: This app is designed to enable you to monitor your child’s driving habits. Simply download this app onto both your phone and your teen’s phone. You will then be able to receive real-time notifications if your child is engaging in risky behavior, including texting or talking on the phone while in a moving vehicle, exceeding a pre-set maximum permitted speed limit, traveling into areas designated as off limits, or staying out past curfew. Though hard on the phone’s battery, it is a very informative application.

App Name: Drive Smart

  • Function: Prevents distractions while driving
  • Compatibility: Android, iPhone and Blackberry
  • Price: Basic version is free; Drive Smart Plus is $4.99/month
  • About: With the basic version, drivers can set their phone to drive mode. During this time, incoming calls are sent directly to voicemail, and incoming texts are muted and an automatic response is sent. The Drive Smart Plus version can detect when the owner of the cell phone is in a moving vehicle and automatically enacts the program. Passengers using smartphones can override the drive mode. Parents can be notified when the override is used.

App Name: DriveScribe

  • Function: Monitors teen driving and rewards safe driving habits
  • Compatibility: Android and iPhone
  • Price: Free
  • About: Dubbed the “Safe Driving Coach,” this award-winning app monitors driving techniques used by your teen and awards a safe driving score and points at the end of the trip. Your teen can accumulate points and redeem them for Amazon or other major retailer gift cards.

App Name: MamaBear

  • Function: Lets you monitor your child’s actions and driving speeds
  • Compatibility: Android and iPhone
  • Price: Free
  • About: This app is good for parents who wish to keep a very close eye on their children and their cell phone use. It enables parents to see where their children are at all times through GPS tracking. It sends notifications when children arrive at or leave pre-set places, and enables parents to see their children's social media interactions. It also alerts parents if children exceed pre-set speeds while driving. Though rather intrusive, it is a useful app, particularly for parents of at-risk children.
Smartphones Do Not Need to Be a Distraction

Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents on roadways. At Trusted Choice®, we want to help you make sure that your child practices safe driving habits. Educate your child about the dangers of using a smartphone while driving, and consider installing one of these apps for safety.

Is there an app that you use and love that we did not mention in this article? Tell us about it in the comments.

meg stefanac blogger

About the author: Meg Stefanac writes blog articles for companies including Trusted Choice and Supero Media. She also owns and operates her own business, MS Editorial Services. Since earning a degree in English, Meg has enjoyed a diverse employment background that includes 15 years in the financial services industry as well as experience with programming technical applications and medical administration. She lives in Bethel Park, PA with her husband and children.

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