7 Safe-Driving Apps

Instead of being dangerous distractions, these smart phone programs can help teen drivers focus on the road.

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Basic Function: Disables texting and e-mail on smartphones.

Best Feature: Locks the phone's screen so no texts or e-mails can be sent or read while driving. (The app senses when the car is traveling faster than 5 mph.)

Compatibility: Android

Price: Basic is free, advanced plans start at $7.99/month (textarrest.com)

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Safe Driver


Basic Function: Monitors location and driving practices of newly licensed teens.

Best Feature: Alerts parents via text or e-mail when kids exceed a specific speed and shows where infractions occurred.

Compatibility: iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad

Price: Basic is free; Pro version is $4.99

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Basic Function: Limits access to e-mail, texting, browsing, and calling when a teen is on the road.

Best Feature: Restricts teen's cell phone activity while driving and allows calls parents set from a contact list using an online account.

Compatibility: BlackBerry and some Windows Mobile phones

Price: $2.99/month or $25/year

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Drivesafe.ly Pro


Basic Function: Teens stay connected while keeping their hands on the wheel.

Best Feature: Texts and e-mails are read aloud; the app automatically responds without touching a button.

Compatibility: Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, and Windows Mobile

Price: $13.95 annually for a single user; family plans are $34.95/year (drivesafe.ly)

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Basic Function: Restricts phone use when car is running and sends automated replies to incoming texts.

Best Feature: Gives parents control via a password and sends an alert if a teen tries to bypass device.

Compatibility: BlackBerry and assorted smartphones

Price: $99.95 for each device, including software for one cell phone (key2safedriving.com)

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Dangers of Distracted Driving


Basic Function: Explores the consequences of distracted driving.

Best Feature: Outlines several scenarios and demonstrates how distracted driving can land drivers in the "Kill Zone."

Compatibility: iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad

Price: $0.99

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Steer Clear Mobile


Basic Function: Teaches young drivers proper driving procedures and increases eligibility for State Farm Insurance discounts.

Best Feature: Logs driving time, mileage, and road conditions so kids can measure their progress.

Compatibility: iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad (teens without a mobile device can complete the program online at statefarm.com)

Price: Free

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