Thursday, July 7, 2016

Teen drivers, older drivers, and drivers in between can now benefit from technology designed to keep people safe on the road. It’s a dangerous and confusing world out on there on the streets and highways, so any device or app that can keep traffic flowing and protect individuals from harm is one that’s worth trying.

From applications that block text messaging while driving to Bluetooth headsets that keep your hands on the wheel, the following are some of the techie concepts and gadgets that are improving road safety:

Text Blocker Apps

Text blocking applications are marketing to parents who want to make sure that there are no distracting incoming or outgoing messages being sent while their teens are driving. These apps block texts for certain periods of time, such as when young drivers are on their way to and from school or work.

Cell Phone Monitoring Services

Services like TeenSafe allow parents to view their children’s voice, text, and social media usage on their smartphones. While not intended to be a “prying” service, TeenSafe wants to give moms and dads insight into dangerous activity that might be going on while a teen is driving a car. Parents can compare phone activity with hours that teens were driving.

Bluetooth Hands-Free Headsets

Bluetooth headsets allow drivers to dial, talk, and end calls on their smartphones without using their hands in any way. Keeping hands on the wheel means maintaining more control of the car. And the price for the technology (about $20 to $150) is small when compared to the potential savings in lives.

GPS Systems

GPS navigational systems escort drivers turn-by-turn to their destinations, keeping them from getting lost and having to roam unfamiliar streets to find their way. GPS systems also prepare drivers for upcoming turns, so there are fewer last-minute maneuvers that can potentially cause an accident. Also, GPS voice directional capabilities help keep drivers’ eyes on the road.

Rear Cameras

For those who never got the hang of parallel parking, rear cameras have come to the rescue. These days, drivers use rear cameras to view video of the available space behind them. Obstacles in blind spots are brought into full view on a screen on the driver’s dashboard.

Phone Suppression Technology

Products like Key2SafeDriving are small tech devices that install into headsets to screen incoming text messages and calls. Key2Safe Driving automatically routes incoming calls to your voicemail, and it replies to texts with automated messages stating that you’re driving.

GPS Add-Ons

GPS add-ons like Demon Speed alert parents if teens are driving too dangerously or too fast. Young drivers can have the privacy they want, as long as they are adhering to traffic laws and speed limits. Demon Speed costs $200 plus a subscription fee of $15 per month.

These apps and devices, along with others like lane departure warning systems and pre-collision warning systems, are helping keep drivers safe in a changing world.