Lilian Min
April 27, 2015 11:59 am

We’re all guilty of multi-tasking to the extreme, but if there’s one thing we absolutely know not to do, it’s texting while driving. It’s tough enough to watch out for road hazards without taking our eyes and mind off it even more, yet according to a new study, one-third of teens still admit to engaging in the dangerous practice.

While texting and driving at any age is a no-go, it’s an additional danger for teen drivers because it compounds their inexperience on the road. (No, driving for one month doesn’t make you an expert.) But seriously, no text, or call, or email, or app notification, is worth putting your life, the lives of people you’re driving, and the lives of other drivers at such risk.

Trust us, we get the temptation — we live in a world where people are quick to judge such things as text-response time or the length and thoroughness of your messages, and it’s easy to think that one quick glance at your phone won’t hurt. But if you need extra help keeping your focus on the road vs. your screen, these apps will go the extra mile to make sure you get to where you’re going safely:

TXT Shield

The free version of this app automatically activates as soon as your surrounding speed surpasses 10 mph, and sends a notification to every person who texts you that you’re driving. Most useful if you’re always the driver.

Available for Android.

Drive Safe.ly

This app goes a step further and reads your texts and emails out loud to make sure you don’t miss anything super important. You can also customize your auto response.

Available on most phone systems.

DriveMode

This AT&T-only app launches when the surrounding speed goes over 25 mph, auto responds, and goes a step further by turning off all notifications — no beeps, rings, or blurps to remind you there’s anything else going on, which can be distracting on their own.

Canary

This might be a nightmare for teens, but an app that lets your parents monitor phone use, and if you’re in a car driving over 12 mph, is certainly the most thorough of the ones we’ve listed. Don’t let it get to this point.

Available on iOS and Android.

Now, an obvious question: Why not make no-text driving a feature of not just individual apps, but an essential part of phones? Phone companies have been put on notice on just that, and as of 2014, Apple’s been working to make its phones automatically register surrounding speed, as well as facial recognition to determine whether or not the phone user is the driver or a passenger. If apps just won’t work for you, we suggest a solution borrowed from another mode of transportation: Airplane mode.

(Image via.)

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