How to Prevent Your Teenager from Distracted Driving for Free - The Drive Safe Mode App

by Erica Starr 15. October 2014

Drive Safe Mode App

Every day, thousands of people are injured or lose their lives to distracted driving. According to the Maryland State Highway Administration Safety Information Database, 231 people lost their lives and 29,050 were injured in distracted driver-involved crashes in 2011 alone. Nationally, distracted driving is a factor in 1 out of 4 vehicle crashes and at any given daylight moment, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010. (NOPUS)

After seeing the above statistics, the question you should be asking yourself is could YOU or YOUR NEW YOUNG TENNAGE DRIVER be one of them? While the dangers of distracted driving are no secret, the best way to prevent these unsettling stats from increasing is communication and education. Do you talk to your teenagers about the risks of texting and driving? Of course you do…but wouldn’t it be great if there was a way for you to physically prevent your child from taking that call while behind the wheel?

Wait no longer parents.

We present to you... (insert triumphant trumpet music)

The Drive Safe Mode App.

While we’ll be the first ones to tell you that our Mobile Banking App allows you to bank from anywhere at any time, there is one place that we would rather you not…while driving. As a matter of fact, if we could figure out a way to shut down our mobile banking app while you were driving, we would. As it turns out, someone figured it out for us. 1st Mariner Bank has teamed up with FOX Baltimore to help fight the battle against distracted driving by helping to promote the Drive Safe Mode App that is available for both Androids and iPhones. This app was created by a parent concerned with his own addiction to distracted driving. This addiction not only included texting, but also emailing, checking Facebook, browsing the Internet, checking sports scores, playing games and using any and every application on his phone.

Some of the App's features include:

  • Prevents texting, banking, emailing and other distractions while driving.
  • Push alert warnings if shut off while driving.
  • Blocks phone usage within a few seconds of vehicle moving.
  • Configurable to allow calling parents while driving.
  • Configurable to allow navigation apps while driving.
  • Configurable to allow music apps while driving.
  • Ability to deliver speed alerts for your vehicle.
  • Proactive alerting and reporting if user tries to disable.

While the App is is available for both Android and iPhone devices, the features and functionality vary slightly for each operating system. Click here to see a features comparison.

So how does the Drive Safe Mode App actually work? (Hint: You're gonna love this.)

Once a certain MPH is reached, essentially all functions of the phone are disabled except the ability to call 911 and/or any preset emergency phone numbers set up by the account holder (i.e Mom & Dad).

Here is a demo of the Drive Safe Mofe App in action on an iPhone.


What if my child tries to use his or her phone or delete the app? (Hint: Mom will know everything.)

In any instance that one attempts to use any non-emergency functionality of his or her phone or deactivate or delete the app, the account holder will receive a notification via text or email.

Ready to take action?

Download the Drive Safe Mode App on your teenager's phone today.

Want more info?

To see additional FAQs or get more info, check out the Drive Safe Mode site here.

10 Affordable Ways to Survive the Polar Vortex

by Erica Starr 29. January 2014

Baltimore Snow

Welcome to Baltimore folks! The home of the blue crab, Old Bay, Berger cookies and the most recent addition to its resume’, the co-host of the 2014 Polar Vortex. According to the Baltimore Sun, Baltimore has racked up the most single digit temperature lows for the month of January since 1982. While that heart-warming statistic may not make you all warm and fuzzy inside, these money saving tips just might do the trick AND teach you a thing or two on how to save money at the same time.

Money Saving Tips to Survive Baltimore's Polar Votex:

1) 86 the Jewelry

As soon as the frigid air hits the metal of your latest and greatest accessories, they start absorbing the temperature. Fast forward a few moments and you now have a pair of ice cubes hanging from your ears instead of the dangly earring you thought you put on in the morning.

2) Bake Cookies

Bake anything for that matter. 375 degrees is pretty darn warm, so after you’ve taken your batch of mouthwatering chocolate chip cookies out of the oven, turn it off (write that down…turn it off) and leave the door open while it cools down. Heck, just using your oven often heats up your kitchen, so why not kill two birds with one stone – food and heat; multitasking at its finest.

3) Reverse, Reverse

While you may typically use your ceiling fans to cool down, running your fan on low in reverse actually pushes any warm air in the room down to your living area. Yes, running the fan in any capacity can increase your electric bill but because you are keeping it on low, the impact to your monthly bill will be minimal, if any.

4) Uncover Vents

This may seem like common sense, but when you are pressed for space in your living area (i.e. a Canton rowhome), a lot of times we forget about the vents that we covered up when we bought that new couch. Just do a quick walk-through of your house and make sure that nothing (furniture, towels, boxes, and pets) is covering up your vents, preventing the hot air from circulating properly. If your vents are covered, your furnace is working double (and charging double) to heat an area that will never be adequately heated.

5) Hot Beverages are Your Friend

Whether it’s coffee, tea, hot chocolate or your grandmother’s famous hot tottie, cozying up with a warm drink can help keep even the coldest of January days more bearable.

6) Dodge the Drafts

Putting Door Draft Dodgers™ against the bottom of your outside doors and windows may prove to be the best Polar Vortex $10.00 you’ll ever spend. These extremely affordable, genius inventions will not only help keep the cold air out, but you’ll also be saving on your monthly energy bills as your heating units won’t have to work as hard.

7) Who Doesn't Love Fuzzy Socks?

And here you thought you’d never get any use out of the fuzzy socks that you got for Christmas all those years. After you call your Mom and thank her, break out a pair or two of your favorite wool or fuzzy socks. Again – two birds with one stone – bonus points with the Mom AND warm feet – the multitasking continues.

8) Change Your Furnice Filters

When is the last time you changed the filters in your furnace? If you can’t remember, chances are it’s time to change them. Even if you can remember, it can’t hurt to check them and make sure they are clean and working effectively. Changing or cleaning your filters regularly will also help you increase the efficiency and life expectancy of your furnace while helping you cut energy costs.

9) Teach Me How to Snuggie

Yep – we said it. Don’t lie, you know you have, or at least want, a Snuggie®. Worst case scenario, put your robe on backwards, it’s really the same thing AND costs you ZERO dollars.

10) Cuddle up with Your 4-Legged Friend

Nothing is more heart-warming than sitting down on the couch and cuddling up with your 4-legged K9 or feline friend after a cold, blustery day. Trust me; if nothing else, it will put a smile on your face.

So there you have it: the official Baltimore Polar Vortex Survival Guide. We fully expect all of you to go home, take off your jewelry, break out the Snuggie® (equipped with fuzzy socks) and cuddle up on the couch with your favorite K9 or feline while eating chocolate chip cookies and enjoying a giant cup of tea. What more affordable way can you think of to stay warm, save money and eat chocolate chip cookies? Again with the multitasking…it’s like you’re a multitasking, money saving Czar or something.

Stay warm out there, Baltimore!

If you found this article useful, be sure to check out these related articles:

The Best Things to Buy in the Winter

Spring Forward with These 5 Energy Saving Tips

How to Stay Cool when Temperatures are Hot

Tech the Halls with These 5 Holiday Money Saving Apps

by Erica Starr 9. December 2013

Smartphones

"Appy" Holidays everyone! 'Tis the the season to not only Deck the Halls, but you might as well try to “Tech the Halls” with these holiday money saving apps that will not only help you save some money this holiday season but also some good ol’ sanity (which we know has infinite value this time of year).

Slice

Holy life saver, Santa! Rated one of the Top 10 Productivity Apps You Shouldn’t Be Without by Business Insider, the Slice app is the ultimate online shopping companion and package tracker. By syncing with your email inbox, Slice tracks of all of your purchases and e-receipts, notifies you when your purchases have been shipped, are out for delivery, and have been delivered, and even alerts you if the price drops on a recent purchase you made. To sum it up, this app is your right hand man for the holiday season.

Slice Cost: FREE
Available for: iPhone, Android
https://www.slice.com/shopping_intro

RedLaser & ScanLife

Have you ever made a purchase and then walked into the store across the street and found the exact same product for less? Or even worse, gotten to your car, checked your email and saw an offer from Amazon (let’s be honest, once you’ve visited Amazon.com once, Amazon knows everything about you and your shopping habits) for half the price AND free shipping? Yeah, me too. Fear no more friends! With the RedLaser and ScanLife apps, you are able to scan any product’s barcode right from your smartphone and find out if another store (either a local retail store or online) is offering that same product at a cheaper price. Better yet, if you are at a store that ad matches (Walmart, Best Buy and Target to name a few), you can walk up to the register, show them the cheaper price on your phone and 9 times out of 10 they’ll match the price. Viola!

RedLaser Cost: FREE
Available for: iPhone, Android, Windows
http://redlaser.com/

ScanLife Cost: FREE
Available for: iPhone, Android, Windows, BlackBerry, Nokia
http://www.scanlife.com/

ReturnGuru

Never again will you miss the deadline to return and item. With the ReturnGuru app, all you have to do is take a picture of your gift receipts and ReturnGuru will notify you before it is too late to return your unwanted item. But wait, it doesn’t stop there. ReturnGuru will also keep copies of all of your receipts along with each store’s return policy so you don’t have to worry about keeping track of all of your paper receipts.

ReturnGuru Cost: FREE
Available for: iPhone, Windows
http://www.returnguru.com/

Drync & Hello Vino

Ah, every wine drinkers dream. During the holidays, there always comes a time when you either have to pick up a bottle of wine to bring to a party, or being the host, you have to supply the wine. The Drync app allows you to scan your favorite wine labels (like a bar code) using image recognition, search for your favorite wines, read reviews and notes about differnt wines and even purchase wine, all through the app (some limitations apply).

Drync Cost: FREE
Available for: iPhone
http://www.drync.com/

Hello Vino is another wine app that helps you pick that perfect bottle of wine. You can search through its extensive library and pick out a nice bottle of vino based on price, region, year or even the type of food you are planning to pair with the wine.

Hello Vino Cost: FREE
Available for: iPhone, Android
http://www.hellovino.com/

Key Ring

Let’s play a game. How many rewards key tags do you have on your key ring right now? If it’s over three, you need this app. The Key Ring app allows you to scan and store images of all of your rewards key tags, enroll in new loyalty programs, and access exclusive coupons and discounts. Now you don’t have to lug around your 10 pound key ring and you can still reap the benefits of all of your rewards programs.

Key Ring Cost: FREE
Available for: iPhone, Android
http://www.keyringapp.com/

So now you are fully equipped to take on the holiday season. With these 5 apps, you’ve taken the power back from the retailers and gotten the best possible price on the best possible gift. And if all else fails, at least now you have a good bottle of wine (or five) to enjoy with family and friends.

For more money savings tips check out:

4 Free Money Saving Apps

4 Ways to Control Excessive Spending This Holiday Season

The Best Things to Buy in the Winter



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