There's an app for that

According to the World Health Organisation, around 1.25 million1 people die each year as a result of road traffic accidents. Research has shown that smartphone use is a big contributor, with drivers who use a mobile phone while driving being four times as likely to get involved in a crash.2

Hopefully, the stricter UK penalties that came into force in March 2017 will help to lower these figures – anyone holding or using their phone while driving will now get a £200 fine as well as 6 points on their licence.3

But it's not all doom and gloom when it comes to drivers using smartphones. Now, many developers are creating apps with the aim of improving driver safety:

Phone lock
These apps detect when you're driving and lock your phone. If you receive a call or text, some will respond saying you're driving, others will reward you with redeemable points, the longer you ignore your phone.

Sat Nav
Recent research4 shows that getting lost can have a significant impact on the quality of your driving. Now there's no need for drivers to buy an expensive satellite navigation system – there are many smartphone apps that will take on this role.

Parking finder
Trying to find parking spaces can be a stressful business, especially in busy city centres. Parking apps show available on and off-street parking spaces, how many hours you can park and how expensive each location is.

Although they don't actually make driving safer, apps that turn smart phones into dash cams can be really useful in showing who is to blame for an accident, and provide good evidence in an insurance dispute.

Safe driving monitors
These apps monitor how safe you're driving, taking into account speed, cornering and braking. They then feed back safe driving tips, enter the driver into national safety league tables or even provide a reward for good performance.

Safety first
The important thing to remember with any of these apps is that they shouldn't be launched 'on the go'.  To be safe and ensure you're staying within the confines of the law, it's essential that you only set them up before beginning your journey and pull over if you need to make any adjustments en-route.

You can find out more and see our pick of the best safe driving apps in our useful infographic, or by contacting your usual Jelf consultant.
infographic dangerous driving and mobile phones

[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38954975
[2] http://think.direct.gov.uk/mobile-phones.html
[3] http://think.direct.gov.uk/mobile-phones.html
[4] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/cars/road-safety/plan-a-route-for-safer-driving/