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.

preparing teens to drive

Teen driving should also include how to take care of a vehicle.

When parents prepare their teens for driving and the driver’s test, what sort of things are covered? Well, things like maneuvering the vehicle, reading street signs and lane markings, and preparing for both the written exam and the driver’s exam. Although those things are certainly important, they certainly don’t make up the whole picture when it comes to driving.

Something that’s often missed is car maintenance. This is something that really ought to be covered, especially if parents plan to purchase a separate vehicle for their teens (actually, this might be a good idea even if you plan to share your vehicles with your newly licensed children). After all, what’s the point of the license if you don’t have a well-maintained vehicle to drive? Wouldn’t it be a good idea for your teen to know what to do in case an emergency happens, like if a tire goes flat or the oil starts to leak?

When educating your teen on car maintenance, a good place to start is with the tires. A car can’t go anywhere unless the tires are properly maintained, and it’s better for you and your teens to know when they need to be maintained instead of waiting for a flat or blowout to happen. Make sure to educate your teen about proper tire pressure and on how to fill up a tire if it’s below pressure. If the car your teen will be driving has a spare, make sure to let them know that it’s there, and that it needs to be checked for proper tire pressure as well. Having proper tire pressure will improve fuel efficiency, which will be a good thing to keep in mind. Filling up the tank can burn a hole in the wallet of a teen. If unsure about your teen keeping up with filling the tires, then utilize nitrogen tire inflation to keep the tires properly inflated for a longer period of time.

Next, show them underneath the hood. You don’t need to have the mind of a mechanic, or expect your teen to have one, but your teen should at least know his or her way around. Point out the basics, such as the battery, the engine, the alternator, the transmission, and the radiator. If you know how, show them how to jump start or to change the battery. Also, show them how to replace or to refill the necessary liquids, such as the oil, the coolant, and the washer fluid.

Finally, educate your teen about the emergency kit and the insurance, in case they are pulled over or something happens at night. The emergency kit should include flares, a blanket, and emergency triangles. An emergency kit can easily be purchased at a car parts or auto repair shop. As for the insurance and registration, show them where those are located in the vehicle and what to do to keep those up-to-date. In case your teen gets pulled over, or gets in a minor accident, having the insurance and registration on hand will make things easier for everyone.

Of course, all that good information won’t be able to apply until the teen gets his or her driver’s license. One way to prepare is through some free DMV practice tests. Another way to get out on the road, practicing on both the highway and in busy intersections. Overall, learning to drive a car also needs to come with learning how to maintain it, and learning what to if a breakdown or an emergency arises.

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