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on Your Smartphone

a hand holds a phone with text messages pulled up in front of a steering wheel

If you have a teen driver, you’re probably worried about your teen and their newfound freedom. Teen drivers are inexperienced, and therefore less likely to know how to avoid accidents. Only practice will fortify their driving skills, but in the meantime, you can help reduce their risk of an accident by giving them hands-free tools for the road.

Drivers under 20 are at the highest risk of distracted driving accidents, largely thanks to phones. Cell phone users are 5.36 times more likely to get into an accident. In 2018, 4,637 people died due to driver cell phone use.

Luckily, there are quite a few hands-free tools to help your teen driver keep their attention on the road.

1. Bluetooth audio for hands-free calls

bluetooth adapter options on Amazon
These are a few top-rated Bluetooth receiver options from Amazon.com

If your teen’s vehicle is not already connected for Bluetooth, there are affordable adapter options for older vehicles. Bluetooth allows for hands-free calling, audio control, and voice-to-text.

For cars that are already connected with Bluetooth, make sure your teen knows how to pair their devices to use these capabilities. Newer cars also have the option of controlling volume and audio tracks from buttons on their steering wheel – so their hands don’t have to leave the steering wheel.

Though we still recommend that teens keep this usage to a minimum, it offers a safer way to communicate than grabbing for their phone.

2. Earn points with a driving app

Safe 2 Save is a Texas-based app that rewards you at local businesses for safe driving. For every minute you drive hands-free, you earn 2 points. That adds up to some great rewards at your favorite places.

Some insurance companies, like State Farm, also have their own app for safe drivers, often providing discounts on insurance for safe drivers.

3. Simplify basic apps for driving

Visual of the Drive Mode app that has big buttons with simple functions like calling and playing audio
Apps like Drivemode can simplify the most commonly used phone features for easy access and less time with your eyes off the road.

Drivemode is another helpful app that can greatly reduce distraction. The app controls your messages, music, apps, and navigation, and simplifies them. This allows for a few simple, easy-to-see controls, as well as voice commands.

4. Easy-to-use dash mount

A small mount on the dash hold a smartphone
Use a magnetic phone mount to keep your teen’s phone near their line of vision instead of them looking away from the road to check it.

One of our biggest recommendations is that if you are going to use your phone at all while you drive, have it somewhere stable near your line of vision. These handy magnet mounts make setup effortless and come with more than one magnet for another device (like a GPS).

The magnets are slim and fit into your phone case, and are also strong enough to hold your phone securely through the case.

5. An organizer for essentials

When your teen is driving, make sure they know to keep things they need accessible. If they will be going through a drive-thru, they’ll probably need their wallet, or a place to drop spare change. Using a front-seat organizer can help keep them from reaching around the car unnecessarily.

Again, while this should be kept to a minimum, it’s likely your teen will want to grab something they use frequently. It could be a water bottle, lip balm, a snack bar – keeping these sort of items in a convenient space, within reach, could save your teen from spending unnecessary time looking away from the road.

For more teen driving safety tips, follow Fogle Collision on Facebook.

Helpful hands-free tools to keep your teen focused on the road
Helpful hands-free tools to keep your teen focused on the road
Worried about your teen driver getting distracted? Prepare them with hands-free tools that will minimize distractions and keep their attention on the road.

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