5 Smartphone Apps to Make You a Better Driver

On September 19, 2013, in Guest Posts, Managed Fleets, by allisonmreilly

apps for better drivingEvery day in the United States, nine people are killed because they are distracted by texting while driving. Car technology is growing more sophisticated, and the ability to merge mobile technology with auto technology is enabling safer driving. These are the top apps that save lives by helping drivers focus on driving:

Drive for New Drivers

Drive is an app created by State Farm auto insurance. It provides drivers with a safer way to stay in contact with their friends, family and even coworkers. The app was created because not everyone can resist the temptation of texting and driving. The app allows drivers to program the audio part of their phone to read text and emails out loud as texts or emails are received. The benefit of this app is that drivers are able to keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the steering wheel. Everyone benefits when drivers are smarter about their actions.

Apps That Get You Where You Need to Be

Nokia Here Drive not only helps you find where you need to go, but also it helps to alert you when you are speeding. The device was designed to save people money by making maps that are downloadable, so users do not eat up data usage with GPS that may or not be working. Drivers can concentrate on driving rather than finding their way.

Apps That Entertain You

Spotify is a broad connection music app that not only works on your cell phone, but on your computer and other mobile devices. You can search songs and artists or Spotify can make suggestions for you. Drivers can focus on driving and stop searching for music on the radio, changing CDs or fussing with their MP3 player. They offer a free and premium membership.

Roadside Assistance

AAA Roadside app works with the roadside assistance features that come with carrying the AAA card. Dead battery, lockout or even a tow are all services that can be accessed through the app.

Texts for Parents of Teen Drivers

The Canary app is designed to alert parents when their teens are engaged in dangerous behaviors while driving. It alerts parents when calls are answered or teens are texting, using Facebook or tweeting while driving. The Canary app allows parents to set a maximum speed limit and then notifies the parent when the max speed is exceeded. This is an app that allows teens to learn responsibility while also allowing parents access to information can save teen drivers’ lives.

How Older Drivers Can Earn Lower Insurance Rates

On December 20, 2012, in Guest Posts, by allisonmreilly

Senior Drivers can Earn Lower Insurance Rates

This is a guest post from Scott Grayson.

It is no secret that our reflexes slow down as we age. Psychologists and other researchers have determined that as we age, our cognitive ability to consider our surroundings and make appropriate decisions slows down significantly after age 65.

Many gerontologists and psychologists today believe we can train our brains to improve our response times. After reviewing data from a University of Kentucky study on brain games and aging adults, Dr. Susan Whitbourne, Ph.D., said the results showed it is possible to “overcome the effects of aging on the mind and body through exercise, practice, and just plain determination”. Another encouraging finding of the study was that improvements were still evident two years after participants discontinued brain-training activities.

Aging Affects Older Drivers

Just slowing the deficits that naturally come with aging is a phenomenal benefit for older citizens who want to remain engaged in an active lifestyle. Recently, new benefits are available to older adults who take an active role in monitoring their personal-response times.

Jerry Edgerton, a columnist and contributor for CBS News, reported on pilot programs targeted at older drivers sponsored by coverage providers. The pilot programs engaged older drivers in brain-training exercises designed to improve the peripheral-vision field, thereby improving response time and reaction to dangerous-driving conditions. Insurance companies are responding positively to the pilot studies.

Lower Premiums

Along with the benefits of lower rates through brain training, companies offer tips to keep your good-driving record. Drivers should take an active role to ensure they enjoy vehicle insurance discounts.

Here are a few tips on how you can ensure that you are maintaining safe driving habits while holding onto your right to stay on the road.

  • Drive the speed limit – Too slow is just as dangerous as too fast.
  • Keep informed about current laws – Watch for new stop lights and speed-limit changes in your town.
  • Take a driving course designed for people over the age of 55 – Courses are available online and in a classroom setting in most areas.
  • Evaluate your car for comfort and function – Be sure the car is not too large or two small, check for blind spots, adjust your seat for the best vision field around you.

Use Tools for Aging Drivers

It might seem as if it’s a sign of getting older to use anti-lock braking systems and lane-departure warning systems, but not a sign of weakness. Age offers experience and intelligence and the appreciation for safety, which is why AAA offers anti-lock braking systems at a special discount to the elderly.

Another handy tip to keep in mind is filling your tires with Nitrogen. Popular Mechanic’s Mike Allen suggests that since Nitrogen is less likely to migrate through rubber than oxygen, keeping air pressure in a tire that is filled with Nitrogen will be stronger for a longer period of time, which cuts the likelihood of having to change a flat tire in half.

These safety tips are designed help drivers of all ages practice safer driving habits while on the road. If you are considering a new car, make this part of your discussion with the sales agent. Contact your policy agent or auto dealer for information about your car’s technology. Understanding how these systems work will offer you a safer and, in the end, a more enjoyable driving experience.

Aging drivers over the age of 65 will become the largest driver pool in our nation within 15 years. Finding ways to improve their safety on the road, while working with their waning reflexes, means a safer driving experience for them and everyone else who shares the road with them.

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