There's an app for that. : Safe @ 16
Teen Driver

There's an app for that.

by Steve Mochel on 04/07/12

boy texting

With the epidemic of Distracted Driving taking over our roadways, a few smart start-ups have created apps to help us break your Crackberry addictions and focus on being safe behind the wheel.  These smarphone apps literally sense the phone is traveling (via internal GPS) and block incoming texts and calls with an automatic response teller the sender that you are driving.

Here are a couple of my favorites.

PhoneGuard : The fact that Justin Bieber is the spokesperson for this app is either a plus or minus based on your teen, but the app performs really well.  It has a speed monitor and geofencing capability so you can get a text message or email if your driver is exceeding a predetermined speed limit or traveling outside a pre-set zone.  The downside is that it only blocks texting - phone calls are still allowed.   It has a 14 day free trial and is the only app so far that also works (somewhat) with the iPhone.

iZup: There is a free version of this one to test out this app, which is only available for Blackberry and Droid at this time.  Blocks emails, texts and calls, but allows emergency calls as well as calls from pre-authorized numbers. The cost for the Pro version is $ 19.95 annually or $ 59.95 annually for a family plan (up to 5 phones).

txtBlocker : Also only for Blackberry and Android at this time and is similar to PhoneGuard in its capabilities.  One difference is the ability to create "No Phone Zone's to keep your teen from being distracted by their phone at school or work...not sure if this is good or bad based on the fact that my kids primarily communicate with me via text from school.

All of these apps are pretty tamper proof or send an alert to the parent if the app has been turned off while the car is moving.  They also are pretty hard on battery life, so a car charger is probably a good idea.

Have you seen any textblocking apps that you like?

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