Published On: Fri, Sep 17th, 2021

Apps Looking Out for Your Safety

About a quarter of all accidents on American roads are caused by texting while driving. Including all cell phone distractions, that’s 1.6 million accidents every year, with hundreds of thousands of injuries and thousands of deaths. It’s easy to say “don’t text while driving” but it’s harder to say, don’t look at the GPS map or listen to music. It’s no wonder that app developers are trying to find ways to make cell phone use safer while driving.

road safety

How Driving Mode Works

App developers created driving mode to reduce distractions while still allowing you to use all the tools your phone provides. For some apps that means letting callers and texters know that you’re driving and will get back to them. For driving apps, it means voice-directed navigation and voice commands within the app. For music apps like Spotify and Amazon Music, it has meant replacing a lot of the bells and whistles with oversized play, rewind and fast forward buttons. While Dan Avidan of Game Grumps mocks his cohost Arin Hanson for arguing that driving mode makes apps more dangerous because the buttons are changed on the screen and many people operate their apps by muscle memory, Hanson has a point.

Getting the Most From Driving Mode

To prevent a bad experience with the driving mode in apps there are a couple of things to do. First, get used to using voice commands. As the Internet of Things pushes all technology towards voice activation, everyone will rely more on voice. Voice commands keep you from having to find those buttons that have moved around. For example, when Amazon Music introduced car mode in April 2021, they ensured that it integrated with its Alexa AI.

Besides utilizing the voice features, get to know the driving mode of your apps when you aren’t driving. Play around with them at home to get more comfortable with the technology and the layout. Set up your options for notifying texters before you’re driving so it’s not holding you up when you’re ready to get on the road. That leads to delays in implementation.

Increasing Your Driving Safety

There are other things you can do to increase your driving safety while you use your phone. Install a dash mount for your phone so you don’t have to look down to follow GPS. If your car system integrates with your phone, take the time to set it up so you can receive calls, listen to texts and write texts all with voice commands. For talking and texting it’s best to utilize your do not disturb feature, saving distracting conversations for another time.

People who say to completely turn off phones while driving don’t consider all the ways people integrate their phones into their driving. Listening to a playlist or a podcast, getting directions, even letting someone know you’re on your way, all happen through your phone. Instead of fighting it, make sure you’re the safest you can be by embracing the technology that lets you keep your eyes on the road.