Apps, devices give parents control of teen's phone to prevent distracted driving

A look at options including SMARTwheel, CellControl, Focus

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HOUSTON – The average teen sends and receives 3,200 text messages a month, and 20 percent of teens admit to text-messaging while behind the wheel. It's a serious problem and it's against the law in Texas.

Sheriff Sgt. Michael Shorkey said it's important to have a conversation with your teens about putting their phones away while driving. But there are things you can buy to ensure they follow through.

The SMARTwheel is the first intelligent driving wheel cover. For $150, it tracks driving by notifying you if you've taken your hands off the wheel for an extended period of time. It also gives you real-time feedback to correct bad behaviors before an accident occurs.

CellControl costs $8 a month. It has a device that clips to the windshield and an app. It will alert parents if their teen is driving recklessly. This blocks texts, the use of apps and games and will send an automatic message to anyone who texts you.

If you'd rather not buy something, you can download a smartphone app like Focus, which reminds you to turn off your phone while driving.

The iPhone also lets parents put restrictions on teens' phones while driving. You just have to go to Settings, General and then Restrictions. All of these things can be used to help save a life on the road.

Click to learn more about these devices:

About the Authors:

News anchor, Mrs. and happy mommy of four boys.