Has your teen passed their driver's test? Congrats! But if you're feeling less than enthused, that's OK. You may fear that your teen is engaging in unsafe practices such as texting or watching TikTok videos while behind the wheel. That is a concern because distracted driving is a real danger, especially for teens.
Thankfully, there are phone apps for parents to track their teens and enforce safe behavior. Below are five free or low-cost apps that parents can use to help their teens learn and practice safe driving habits.
DriveSmart is an app that you can install on your teen's phone to reduce distractions. The app can send calls straight to voicemail and provides an automated response to texts. In addition, the app detects motion and will start when a teen starts driving. DriveSmart is available for both Android and iPhone.
2. Know Your Drive
The Know Your Drive app is published by American Family Insurance and is a best-selling app on the Apple and Google Play stores. The insurance company made this digital application to help your teen driver, as well as anyone in the household, track habits on the road. As an added bonus, you may be able to get discounts on your car insurance. The app is free to use.
Other car insurers such as State Farm have similar apps, although the reviews on these other digital tools are not as strong. Search the Apple or Google Play stores to see if your insurance company has a similar digital application.
3. On My Way
On My Way is among the most popular driving safety apps because it uses an enticing incentive — money. The app rewards teens with cash that can be applied to gas and other purchases. The purpose of the app is to discourage teens from texting and driving, which is a serious danger. While the money returns are relatively small, the app reinforces safer driving habits and uses positive rewards. That is something a lot of teens will find appealing. This free digital application is available on the app's website with install links for both Android and iPhone.
AutoCoach is a driving tracker and teaches teen drivers the rules of the road. This smartphone app has features for teens with cognitive and physical disabilities, which is rare among driving programs. AutoCoach tracks a teen driver who has a learner’s permit while they drive to meet the minimum hour requirements for day as well as night driving. The app also offers interactive lessons and has a feature to log skills. This useful app helps parents be better coaches and monitors of their teen's driving.
The app is available on the Apple and Google Play stores.
5. Teen Time: Parental Control
Teen Time: Parental Control is a screen time and locationapp for Android, which serves as a helpful tool to manage your teen's mobile device usage. Teen Time offers parents a variety of tools to limit or restrict the use of games and other applications. As an added benefit, the app allows parents to get data on how their kid is using their phone. This app has many uses beyond tracking distracted driving, which means it's a great multi-purpose digital app.
If you are an iPhone user, you can monitor your teen's screen without an app. Apple has a screen time control app already installed. All you have to do is turn it on using Apple's instructions.
One More Way to Keep Your Teen Safe on the Road
Would you like your teen driver to get more help with driving safely? An online driver's ed course can help them become more responsible and careful while behind the wheel.