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Forty percent of all American teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger.  - Pew Survey/FCC

From the first time you carefully buckle your child into their car seat or strap on their bike helmet, you're constantly trying to keep them safe.  It's no different when they slide the wheel of your car.  Unfortunately, teenage drivers are statistically among the most commonly distracted drivers due to cell phone use.  But, as much as technology can be to blame in this situation, it can also be used to prevent distracted driving.  

Various programs are now available to control and disable cell phone usage while driving a vehicle, which can be especially helpful with young drivers.  In many of these systems, a trigger device is installed in the vehicle, which is then activated when the vehicle is in motion.  Additionally, a Bluetooth signal can be programmed to disable texting, email, apps, and internet access.

Below are some programs that outline these types of programs:

Canary, iOS, Andriod, $14.99 lifetime subscription

Unlike other apps out there, Canary does not block the ability for drivers to text or check their phone, but will instead notify you when your teen unlocks their phone when driving.  Canary also has options to let you know when your driver exceeds speed limits that you set, goes outside "geofences" you set or if the driver violates a curfew.

CellControl, Andriod, iOS (audit only), $89 (one-time purchase)

CellControl does requite installing a device under the steering column of your vehicle that monitors when the car is moving.  Once the car is in motion, a blocking screen pops up on the driver's phone preventing the driver from texting.  The screen disappears when the car stops moving.

TextLimit, iOS, Andriod, $24.99/year per phone

This app allows parents to set a speed at which some of the phone's features will be partially or completely disabled.  But the app also permits parents to contact their children even if their calling and texting options have been suspended.  Parents can also receive an email alert when their teen exceeds a certain speed limit.  This app may qualify you for an insurance discount., Andriod, iOS, BlackBerry, $13.95/year for single user, $34.95/year for family pack

The apps highlight feature allows the driver to hear incoming texts and emails, and provides an automatic response, allowing the driver to provide and "I'm driving, I will get back to you later" option.

DriveScribe, iOS, Android, free

Hey, it's free!  What's great about this app is that is gives the driver a "safe driver score" after each trip.  As drivers accumulate points, they're rewarded with great stuff like gift cards.  It's a self-policing app.


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