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Keep Your Teen Safe Behind the Wheel


(The Root) — According to a recent survey conducted by AT&T on teens and distracted driving, although 97 percent of them understood the danger involved, a whopping 89 percent still expected a response to a text within five minutes of sending it, whether or not the recipient was driving. Another staggering statistic: Seventy-five percent of teens say that texting while driving is common among their friends.


The DriveScribe app is an attempt to help curb those numbers while providing an incentive for impressionable teens to drive responsibly.

DriveScribe is similar to other apps, like DriveOff and Textecution, which prevent the sending and receiving of text messages or phone calls if a vehicle is moving faster than 10 miles per hour. But this app takes that concept even further and becomes a virtual "safe-driving coach," giving the driver a summary of how he or she actually drives.


Incoming calls, texts and other updates are blocked, but speed is also monitored, and the app can even tell when the driver is approaching a stop sign. When your teen violates a rule of the road, you get an instant text message or email.

But the idea of earning rewards may be just the thing that makes the idea of safe driving stick with teens. At the end of each trip, your teen earns a Safe Driving Score, which translates into points that can be redeemed for gift cards from dozens of popular retailers, like Amazon.com.

This feature might seem like a high-tech bribe to some, but I don't see anything wrong with a little positive reinforcement, especially if it can motivate safer driving habits. Unless you don't plan to allow your teen to drive at all, some measure has to be taken to try to ensure his or her safety. DriveScribe is free for the iPhone and Android. 

Follow tech-life expert Stephanie Humphrey on Twitter.

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