There’s an app for that. While we all know the dangers of using a smartphone while driving, did you know there are now lots of apps around which can actually make you a better driver and improve your road skills?
There are a whole host of apps out there, including those which can stop you texting and close your notifications, as well as ones to help you find the perfect parking place while out and about. We asked Darren from used car dealership Big Motoring World for his top five. Here are his top apps which can help make you a better driver:
Drive First is an app which prevents you from being tempted to continue texting while driving. It locks your mobile phone as soon as your car starts without you having to do anything. Once working it will send automatic replies to texts that do come through so that the sender knows you are driving.
This app does allow you to select certain other apps to continue working while you drive, for example if you are using maps or music apps, but it doesn’t allow you to text from the phone until the car stops. Once you stop driving, the app stops working too.
TextNoMore works in a slightly different way but with the same aim – preventing you from texting while driving.
With this app, you get extra incentives not to text as it is linked to key retailers. With this one, before you set off on a journey you need to switch on the app before you set off and tell it your planned driving time.
The app closes down all notifications and alerts to prevent you from being distracted and stops you texting. However, you can then collect retail coupons if you don’t text while driving. That way you are rewarded for your good behaviour, as well as driving more safely.
This app turns your smartphone into a hands free unit – it enables you to voice-activate your phone for emails and texts, so there is no need to take your eyes off the road.
While it’s always safer not to use your phone at all while driving, this app enables you to control your mobile without taking your hands off the wheel, which has to be an improvement. So if you just have to send that text straight away, use this app to dictate it rather than be tempted to type while driving.
Have you ever come across an accident and thought, I have no idea what I’m supposed to do to help? This safety app gives you a step-by-step guide of what to do if you have or come across, a car accident. It includes a GPS so you can tell the emergency services the exact location, and also features first aid advice. There are also options to store emergency contact information as well as details of your car history such as when your MOT is due.
This app enables you to stay calm should an accident occur and also help out other drivers and passengers should they require your assistance at an emergency scene.
This AA app works alongside Google Maps and can direct you to the car park nearest to your destination. It will tell you if the car park is full and can also let you know how much the car park will cost as well, meaning you don’t waste time driving around town only to find all of the car parks you get to are already full up. That way you can save time, use less fuel and lower your stress levels while driving. No more dangerous manoeuvres trying to reverse back out onto a road after discovering a car park you turned towards is full up.
There are many different apps out there to help with driving, from maps which mean you don’t need a separate sat nav device, to ones which automatically divert incoming texts and phone calls for you to avoid distraction issues.
There are also apps which parents can use to monitor their teenage children’s driving habits so they know where they are, how fast they are going and even if they are using their phones in the car, along with those which record your own driving behaviour for insurance cost purposes.
However, with millions of drivers still being tempted to text or call while driving every year, despite increased penalties and the number of recorded accidents caused by drivers on their phones going up each year, any app which can help to reduce this problem has to be welcomed.
While mobile phones are an ever increasing part of our lives, and it’s great to stay connected, the development of apps which actually help us to become better drivers and avoid distractions while on the road can only be a good thing.