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Driven to distraction? There's an app for that.

Even though we admonish our teens, we're just as guilty of committing this offense: texting while driving. A poll conducted by AT&T, 49 percent of adult drivers admitted to sending an electronic message behind the wheel compared with 43 percent of teen drivers. In spite of the fact that 98 percent of drivers questioned by AT&T recognized the hazards associated with this activity, just under half of those polled revealed that they would reply to a message.

Whether it's due to the fear of missing out on important information or it's an attempt to lessen the boredom of a long commute, engaging in distracted driving is a practice that seems to increase in popularity despite the publicized risks. For drivers who can't seem to shake the habit, solutions exist: turn off the phone before turning on the engine or notify friends that you'll be driving and shouldn't be contacted. Of course, few drivers will take these steps to secure their safety.

Fortunately, smartphone application developers have recognized that phone owners are loath to power down their phones regardless of the circumstances. Some apps are free to install and others charge a small fee to access the software. In terms of benefits offered and ease of installation, all of these products are worth investigating:

1. AT&T DriveMode

Available to AT&T subscribers, this application blocks incoming calls and texts. It relays a message to those sending texts, informing interested parties that the driver is engaged. To prevent any temptation to review texts, the application prevents the driver from accessing messages while the car is in motion. In case of emergencies, the software has been updated to allow the driver to contact and receive calls from 5 selected numbers and 911.

2. DriveSave.ly

For drivers who need to access to their messages at all times, the DriveSave.ly app will read texts and emails to the driver while the vehicle is moving. Additionally, the software will transcribe and send a reply or respond with an auto-reply.

3. DriveScribe

For parents who want to monitor their child's driving from afar, the proprietary software in DriveScribe will relay pertinent information. The app records the distance and route taken during the drive, notifying instances of excessive speeding or traffic violations. Teen drivers benefit from using this application, as they will be rewarded for their cautious driving with points for gift cards from area merchants. The app provides these benefits in addition to text and call blocking functions.

For drivers who are quick to respond to the buzz that announces the presence of a text or e-mail, the three applications above can reduce the fear of missing a message. They put aim to put drivers back in control of their vehicle and ensure safety of those on the road.

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