When you’re in your car it’s really easy to end up in an accident, especially with all the texting and talking and other miscellaneous distractions that keep you from looking everywhere other than the road.
There are all kinds of great devices in automobiles these days to improve safety but sometimes you can make all the difference with a couple small gadgets you can pick up on your own. As a baby planner at BottlestoBritches.com helping parents protect what they hold dear, I adore gadgets like the ones I’m about to describe. I know that new parents can be among the most distracted on the road (I remember all too well trying to hold a steering wheel with one hand and a bottle in another for a child in the back seat—no easy task and certainly not something I’d ever endorse for others). Check out what’s out there today and then leave us a comment below to try and win one of each, compliments of the manufacturers who shared them with us.
You know it’s happened to you before. You’re driving down the road and you drop your phone by accident—right in that spot between the seat and the center console. Then you have to dig around to try to find it because it’s critical that you continue the conversation you were having. Before you know it, your eyes are off the road and down searching for the phone. And then you’re swerving out of your lane, and well, you know the rest of the story. That can all be avoided with the Drop Stop®. It’s an interior accessory that can stop phones, keys, change, food and a pile of other personal articles from routinely falling down the seat and console gap. It’s self-installed in seconds by placing the material (similar to a wetsuit) between the seat and center console and aligning Drop Stop’s® built in slot over and around the seatbelt catch. It is flexible and cleans quickly. It’s sold online at www.BuyDropStop.com for $19.95 plus shipping and handling (set of 2: one for the driver side and one for the passenger side) and includes a complimentary LED Credit Card Light and Dashboard Slide-Free Pad.
Now you know you shouldn’t be talking while you’re driving, but most of the time you still do. iFrogz (www.iFrogz.com) helps make sure your hands are free for driving when you just have to be on the phone. They feature a built-in microphone for making hands-free calls on your iPhone or Blackberry. The earbuds also work great for listening to music when you’re not on the phone, so you won’t need to bring along a separate set. The iFrogz use noise-isolating earbuds and a high-definition microphone with a button that allows you to control basic functions on your phone like answering calls, volume and changing songs. They come in several options:
- Plugz ($19.99)- http://ifrogz.com/proddetail.php?prod=EPD33-MIC
- Reflex ($29.99) – http://ifrogz.com/proddetail.php?prod=EP-RX-MIC (we’re giving away one of these)
- Timbre ($49.99)- http://ifrogz.com/proddetail.php?prod=EP-WB-MIC
I don’t know about other parents out there, but it’s incredibly stressful knowing my teen is out on the road and probably not using the caution that I see when I’m in the car with him. That’s why the Illume Software new mobile application called iZUP sounds so comforting. It aims to stop your teen from texting and talking while driving. iZUP works on GPS-enabled smart phones and detects when a person is driving. When the car reaches a certain speed, iZUP shuts down the phone and holds all voicemails and texts until the driver has safely stopped. The product will is available at www.getiZUP.com and a single download of the product is $4.95 a month or $49.95 for the full year. Have more than one teen driver? A family plan is also available (three or more phones) for $5.95 a month or $59.95 a year.
STUDENT AT THE WHEEL
Here’s another thing I know about having a teen driver. Other drivers get awfully angry with your new driver when they’re going too slow, or switch lanes with maybe not enough room to safely get over. However, put a sign on the car that says the kid behind the wheel is a new driver and other people tend to back off a little. No one wants to push their luck with a new driver and all of a sudden, they get a little more patient with your driver-in-training and your driver gets a little more room to make a mistake without causing an accident. But who really wants to put a sticker on the car that can’t come off, and what do you do if you share the car with your kid? You get a magnet STUDENT at the wheel®, that’s what. Developed by a concerned mom of three, STUDENT at the wheel® alerts others that there is a new driver on the road, and to give them some more room (lay off the honking and tailgating). They’re available online at http://www.STUDENTatthewheel.com and in stores nationally at the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store.
4 SURVIVAL TO GO
>When you’re on the road, teen or otherwise, you’re supposed to keep a safety kit in your trunk, just in case. An emergency kit is critical in any crisis. Don’t have one? 4 Survival To Go works to teach people the importance of preparedness and creates kits that you can count on, kits that include a Swiss Army knife, gauze, a glow stick, a flashlight that can be hand-cranked and doubles as a cell phone charger or emergency AM/FM radio, duct tape and many other things. Yes, you could pack your own, but you haven’t yet, so why not just get it all pre-packaged for you? Just go to http://www.4survivaltogo.com/4SR-04.html.
LIGHT FOR LIFE
So if you don’t have that kit and still aren’t convinced to get one, at the very least you should have a flashlight. But if you’re like me, the flashlight you have probably has dead batteries because your kids thought it was a fun toy and got a little forgetful about turning it off the last time they were playing. That won’t be an issue with the new Light for Life™ flashlight from 5.11 Tactical because it’s a battery-free, rechargeable flashlight that lasts more than 100 years. It recharges in just 90 seconds and has the ability to have one charge a day for more than 100 years – that’s more than a lifetime! And because you’re not always replacing batteries, it’s environmentally friendly. It’s also good you won’t be buying batteries because the money saved can be used toward the price (the Light for Life costs $169.99, which if you do the math with the average price of batteries, would pay for itself after 10 years).
I don’t know about you, but this is all stuff I could put to good use for my family. If you want to win the whole pile of products, sign up for our newsletter and leave a comment below about the crazy things you’ve seen other people do while driving. You have until midnight EST on January 20 to leave a comment. A winner will be drawn at random on the 21st. Good luck!