Teen Driver Safety Apps: MOTOsafety vs MamaBear vs Canary

December 2, 2015
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MOTOsafety – Helping Teens Drive Safely

MOTOsafety app icon - Teen Safety while Driving vs Canary vs MamabearMOTOsafety mobile app and device are designed to help teenagers develop safe driving skills and to give parents peace of mind. The device attaches to the OBDII port under the dash in your car to keep track of your teen’s GPS location and driving behaviors: speeding, hard breaking, rapid starts and location. The mobile and desktop applications provide the parent detailed reporting on the teen’s driving skills to give them guidance for coaching your teen to be a better driver.

Motosafety deviceTeens get independent feedback about their driving skills and parents get peace of mind.

Report Card

A daily report card, with A – F scoring, is generated to let the parent and/or teen know how well they are driving. The more speeding and hard breaking, the lower the score. The report card provides precise location and time information on when and where the teen performed well or not.

The report card is a base for parent/child discussion and provides a “third party independent” evaluator of your child’s driving habits – you’re child can’t fib about his/her driving. And the parent isn’t judging the child’s skill.

MOTOsafety Report Card - Teen Driving Safety

Location Sharing

In addition to grading driving skills, MOTOsafety is a location-sharing device providing the exact GPS location of the car and the route in which the car has been driven. You can even retrace routes on a map from any previous day. Pick the date to see the that day’s travel route.

MOTOsafety Route Replay - Teen Driving Safety App and Device

Location Geofence

If you are concerned about the teenager getting too far away from home or work you can create geofences that defines the area where your teen is allowed to drive. For example, if he or she is supposed to be driving to school and work only, you can draw a geofence on the MOTOsafety map. The parent receives a notification each time the car leaves the defined geofence area. Geofences can be as small or as large as desired (ex: to or from school or an entire state).

MOTOsafety Geofence - Teen driving safety App and Device


Along with driver scoring and evaluation, the parent has access to a full suite of blog entries and articles that coach the parents on how to talk with the teen on how to improve his/her driving skills.

MOTOsafety for Seniors

The MOTOsafety device and app can also be used for the aging parents. If you have an older parent and want to keep track of where they are, MOTOsafety is excellent. Many people use the device for their teens for a specific time period and then give the device to their parents. Children can check in on their parents to know they are safe. This is particularly popular for children and parents that live in different states.

MOTOsafety vs. MamaBear App vs. Canary Apps

There are many apps and devices that help your teens be safe drivers but each app has its unique features.

Key differentiators between several popular teen safety driving apps include the following:

MOTOsafety App & Device

MOTOsafety is a mobile app, web app and device.  The apps do not work without the MOTOsafety device that plugs into the car’s OBDII port.

MOTOsafety App Icon Teen driving safety app and devicePro: MOTOsafety provides the most detail about driving behavior and its primary purpose is to provide feedback to help your teen be a safe driver. Once you are confident that the teen has developed safe driving habits you may decide to disable the device (and possibly pass it on to senior parents).

Con: The MOTOsafety device is attached to the car and therefore only tracks the car’s location. If the teen jumps in a friend’s car and drives away there is no location or speed tracking. This is different than apps that use sensors in the smartphone.

The MOTOsafety device costs $79.99 and has a $20.00/month fee. You can choose to use this for one month or as long as you desire. There is no contract.

MamaBear App

MamaBear App Icon vs Motosafey vs canary teen safety apps drivingMamaBear App’s primary focus is monitoring a teen’s social media habits, however there is a driving component. This smartphone app can alert the parent if the teen travels over a specific speed and you can set parent alert notifications when they arrive at defined locations such as work, school, or home. There is no geofence, reporting, breaking, speeding, or other details provided.

Con: If you set the speed notification at 75 and your child travels 70 MPH in a 40 MPH zone, you will not be notified.

Pro: If you child is riding with someone else you still get notified of speeding and location as it is based on the location of the smartphone rather than the teen’s car.

MamaBear is not a coaching device.  It is more of a parent notification system when a specific speed is passed or a location is reached.

The app is free for basic features.

See my MamaBear Review here:

How to monitor your teen’s social media activity & driving habits. MamaBear review and demo

Canary App

Canary App Icon - Teen safety driving vs mamabear vs motosafetyThe primary focus of Canary is to help reduce distracted driving.

Pro: This app provides notifications and reports when the child is texting, talking and using the phone. You can also set geofences.

Cons: The app and data do not seem to be reliable. Location sharing does not seem to be accurate all of the time (doesn’t update properly) and it does not accurately report distracted driving behaviors.

The app is free.

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