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Top Ten Back to School Safety Tips For Parents, Students and Drivers



It’s almost that time of year, when kids go back to school, new teen drivers hit the streets and college students start packing for their new dorms. As parents, we’re equally relieved, excited and anxious that our kids are starting the new school year! In fact, we find that it’s one of the most active times of the year for families using Life360. Families add “Places” such as school as much as 50% more. From family location features to drive monitoring, many families use Life360 to make life a little easier, with the peace of mind knowing that their children are safe during the school year.

This time of year introduces new challenges and safety concerns, but with a little bit of education, you and your family can be better prepared. Whether it’s walking, driving, or taking a bus, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 safety tips for traveling to school for a safer experience.


phone-showcase-newFor Families

  1. Get Life360 in Your Life: Life360 offers a great way to make sure that you know your kids get to school and arrive home safely! Watch them in real time when they’re traveling and follow their route, or get automatic notifications pushed to your phone for daily peace of mind. With Driver Protect, you can get a report on your teen driver’s speed, braking, and instances of cell phone use while driving. For further safety measures, Driver Protect offers roadside assistance and crash detection in case of emergencies.

“My kids enjoy more freedom and they appreciate the fact that I’m not constantly bugging them about their whereabouts. I can tell where they are and see when they are on their way home. They can take their time driving even after curfew because I can see them making progress on their route (so I’m more understanding). I can also discreetly check that they made the drive safely to school each morning even though our local roads are often snow-covered and slippery and riddled with deer.” – Wendy L.

  1. Know Where to Be Picked Up: If you plan on picking up your child, make sure to set a regular place for pickup that is both easily accessible for a car and is a safe place for your kids to wait, in case you are late. Highly trafficked areas are not ideal (or safe).
  1. Have a Pre-established Route: If walking to school, have a pre-established daily route that you both agree upon. They should not deviate from that route or take any shortcuts which can be unfamiliar to them and not vetted by you. Doing so should help mitigate any dangers or risks.
  1. Walk with Friends! If at all possible, walking with a friend or a group is always safer than walking by yourself.shutterstock_314871770
  1. Don’t Rush to the Bus: If your child is taking the bus, make sure they arrive early so they don’t feel tempted to rush or cut any corners—like running across the street—while trying to catch it.
  1. Obey the Proper Crossing Rules: Make sure your child obeys the rules of the road: it’s important to use the marked crosswalks at traffic signals, wait for the pedestrian walking signs, always be mindful of your surroundings and watch for oncoming cars. Do not use phones, play games or listen to headphones too loudly as they can be major distractions while in highly trafficked areas—especially when crossing the street.

“This app made parent-teen relationships so much better at our house! The kids don’t have to remember to text me. I hear the notifications when they leave school, practice, etc. I don’t even have to stop what I am doing, I just hear it and know they are on schedule. Even if they make mistakes like staying out too late, I can see for myself that they are safe (just late)… no freak-out late-night arguments. I haven’t obsessed about following my family’s every move because using the driving history a couple times showed me they really are doing well on the road. To me this app is a good example of life-improving use of technology!” – Laura R.

For Teen Drivers

  1. shutterstock_81123025Make sure your teen doesn’t distract themselves with their phone while driving. Texting while driving and taking your eyes off the road could result in a serious accident. Don’t change the music on your phone, don’t take a call, don’t text, it can be dangerous—and illegal. With Safe Drive Reviews in Driver Protect, we let you know what occurred during each drive with instant, detailed reviews. Information about the drive including alerts for Phone Usage, Rapid Acceleration, Hard Braking, and the Top Speed are shown on the map at the time of occurrence. As much as 58% of Driver Protect users have reported reduced phone useage while driving!
  1. Don’t Have a Party in Your Car: Blasting the latest Taylor Swift song can be fun, but a car full of screaming, bouncing teens is no joke. Make sure everyone is in their seat, buckled up, with the music at a reasonable volume. Leave the karaoke to sleepovers!
  1. Drive to School Early: Driving while late to class is an easy excuse for speeding. Don’t rush. Accidents increase and defensive driving goes out the window when teen drivers speed to get to class on time. You can help your teens be better drivers by turning on Drive Detection in Life360. Doing so will enable both of you to see the top speed reached during each drive, which can help to reduce and dissuade bad habits.
  1. Slow Down for School Zones: Speed limits are reduced in school zones for a reason. With so many children crossing the street, it’s recommended that you do not pass vehicles, especially school buses. It’s better to be safe and slow than sorry (as well as avoiding any chance of getting a ticket)!

“Great for families! For a family with multiple kids and multiple adults responsible for dropping off and/or picking up the kids from school, this app makes it easy for making sure everyone is in-the-know of where people are in relation to getting the kids. We have set up zones at the school, the bus stop and various homes for the adults. We now know for sure when people are making the pick up or drop off on time. This also makes it easy for family functions, as we can call people and give them directions based on where they are.” – Tremaine K.

Is your family beginning the school year soon? Add “school” as a place today and get notified when your kids arrive and leave! Want to hear more tips, stories and articles from Life360? Join our community on our Facebook page. Have a great school year and stay safe! – Life360

Life360 Driver Protect now available everywhere



Today we are very excited to launch Life360 Driver Protect in the UK!

Driver Protect is a new subscription service that provides peace of mind to families on the road. The service uses your smartphone to automatically detect distracted driving events, providing you and your family with actionable safety insights about their driving habits.

The idea of Driver Protect developed as a result of Life360 feedback; families are concerned when their teens are on the road. Teen driving statistics are astoundingly unfortunate. According to research on Mirror, “Almost six in ten road crashes involving teenage motorists are caused by texting and other distractions at the wheel.”

Comprehensive driver safety services used to only be available via in-vehicle hardware diagnostic systems. But we knew we could offer a solution with software instead of hardware! We can give access to driver safety features to anyone with a smart phone and internet connection. Our technology works in any vehicle, so families are no longer tethered to one car. This service protects every member of the Family Circle in a single subscription, and the features travel with everyone on their smartphones, providing peace of mind to families when their loved ones are on the road.

Life360 Driver Protect features:

  • Safe Drive Reviews: Family members can receive safety insights about each drive taken by a loved one in their Family Circle, whether that person is the driver or a passenger. Insights include trip information on a map that shows duration and route, reporting on top speed, and instances of rapid acceleration, hard braking and cell phone usage.


  • Weekly Driver Reports: Circle members can see how their distracted driving habits have improved week to week. A quick glance in the app will show graphs of hard braking, cell phone use, and rapid acceleration for the entire week. This gives families an opportunity to sit down and talk about the importance of safe driving and see how habits are improving over time.



The subscription also includes features from Life360 PLUS:

    • Unlimited Place Alerts: Subscribers can set up unlimited Place Alerts to get notified automatically when loved ones arrive or depart locations like school, work and home
    • 30 Days of Location History: Thirty days of location history for everyone in the Family Circle is available to easily look back in time at the family’s comings and goings
    • Same Day Email Support: Even the littlest question is a big concern to us. When you contact our support, we’ll give you priority service and respond within 24 hours

Within the first month of using Life360 Driver Protect, phone use amongst users decreased 58%!

Through the Driver Protect product, and specifically the Safe Drive Reviews, we hope to create a family of better, safer drivers. We recently conducted a survey of our users, and 82% of parents with teenagers said they worry about their teen’s safety when driving without a parent. With detailed information around phone usage, rapid acceleration and hard braking, families can have more focused conversations to review specific driving habits they can improve.

The Life360 Driver Protect subscription is now available in the UK and covers all members of the Family Circle.

Tips for talking to your teen about safe driving

Talking to your teen about driving safety is very important. According to the CDC, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States. Most crashes are preventable, so talking to your teen and establishing safe driving habits as a family can make a big difference

Here are a few tips from our team at Life360 for how to tackle a discussion about safe driving with your teen, and how to keep the conversation going to ensure good driving becomes a habit.

  1. Discuss the importance of safe driving. Although your teen may feel invincible, ensure they understand the laws in your state and that car crashes can change people’s lives in a matter of seconds. Review research and distracted driving statistics with your teen. For example, let them know that responding to a text while driving takes your eyes off the road for approximately five seconds, which is enough time to drive the length of a football field.
  2. Make a safe driving promise. Establish rules of the road for everyone in your family in a written contract. Make a promise that you will always wear seatbelts, follow the speed limit, focus on the road at all times, pull over if you are too tired to drive, and never drive under the influence or while using a cell phone. The CDC offers a parent-teen driving agreement you can print, or you can create your own.
  3. Monitor your family’s driving behavior, and review it together weekly. The Life360 Driver Protect service covers everyone in the family and shows instances of cell phone use, rapid acceleration, hard braking and top speed reached after every completed drive. A weekly driving summary for each family member provides an easy way to sit down together and review that everyone is sticking to your family’s safe driving promise.life360driving
  4. Timing is everything when talking to a teen. You know your family members better than anyone and choosing the right time to talk about safe driving is key. If your teen is not a morning person, don’t discuss driving tips over breakfast. If they have a lot of homework, don’t overwhelm them with a family meeting after dinner. Pick a time that works for your family and make safe driving check-ins a regular conversation.
  5. Set a good example. Parents are the earliest and most influential role models kids have. Follow the rules of the road and you’ll help raise a teen who is more likely to do so, too.

The Life360 Driver Protect service is available within the Life360 app, for iPhone and Android. A single subscription covers everyone in the family Circle and travels with you on your smartphone, in any vehicle. In addition to Safe Drive Insights, the service includes Automatic Crash Detection and Emergency Response and 24/7 Extended Roadside Assistance, providing help when your family needs it most.

How To Handle the End of the School Year

It’s a child’s favorite part of the year: the last few weeks and days of school when it’s warming up, days are longer, and you’re dreaming of at least 6 weeks with no homework!

It can be a parent’s dreaded part of the year: how to entertain your kids for 6 weeks when you have to work, the cost of camps, will they finish everything on their reading list?!

Life360 can’t help make 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea any more interesting, but we can help with the coordination and worry that come with giving your children more freedom to play outside and hang out with their friends during the summer months.


Here are few tips from Life360 Parents on how to use the app after school lets out:


“Place Alerts for my daughter eliminate the need for constant texts”

You may have set up Place alerts for school and soccer practice, but your schedules and go-to places are different during summer. Set up a Place Alert at the playground and make sure your child takes a phone with them so you know when they come and go from there. Set up a safety zone around your house or neighborhoo so you know if they leave the zone and go into a dangerous neighborhood. Or Set a Place Alert at your childs’ best friend’s house for all those sleepovers.


“Vacation Circles help us keep track of each other”

Set up another Circle for vacation. Maybe you travel with another family, your cousins, grandparents, or friends. A vacation Circle makes everything easy to coordinate by knowing where everyone is without having to wait for them to call or text you back. Organize dinners, follow their day, and give yourself piece of mind knowing where everyone is.


Have any more suggestions on how to use Life360 to make summer life easier? Let us know in the comments!


Win $500 For Being a #Life360SafeDriver

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and Life360 wants to call attention to the bad habits many of us have with distracted driving-such as eating food while driving, texting while driving, and looking through music to play while driving.

We have unlocked the Driver Protect feature-Safe Drive Reviews- for all of our US users so that they can see how well every Circle member is driving. The feature is available April 12-18.

To show our commitment to the importance of correcting bad driving habits, we are sponsoring a contest!

Life360 Contest


For every Safe Drive Review where a drive shows 0 events, that’s one step closer to winning!

Take a screenshot of the drive from the history view (before you click into the drive) so that it shows your name and 0 events. Post it on facebook, twitter or instagram with the hashtag #Life360SafeDriver and @Life360!

We will determine the winner after April 18th and reward $500! You have until then to enter as many safe drives as you want! Are you a #Life360SafeDriver?


Safe Drive Reviews: Learn your distracted driving habits

Cell phone use on the road is responsible for 64% of all automobile accidents in the U.S. Every day, 11 teenagers die because they were texting while driving. During daylight hours, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving.

These are just a few of the scary statistics around distracted driving.


April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and we at Life360 want to bring awareness to you and your Circle. We will be giving all our US users free access to Safe Drive Reviews April 12-18. This is a feature of our subscription, Driver Protect.

Safe Drive Reviews let Circle members know about events occurred during a drive. View:

  • Top Speed
  • Texting and phone use while driving
  • Hard braking
  • Rapid acceleration

The Safe Drive Review map will show the spot where the event occurred.



To become a better, safer driver, being aware of these bad habits is the first step to stopping them. Sit down and have a conversation with your loved ones about the dangers of each of these events. Encourage your Circle to complete drives with zero events. We suggest giving out a prize – like a gift card or money – for an entire month of zero drives.

To view a Safe Drive Review for a Circle member, make sure these first steps are completed:

  1. Drive Detection is turned on for every Circle member
  2. Turn on Driving Alerts to receive the drive notifications
  3. When you receive a push notification after a drive, tap it to be taken into the Safe Drive Review



Life360 is sponsoring a contest to encourage users to take zero-incident drives all week. A zero-incident drive will show all events at 0 – Phone use, Rapid Acceleration, Hard Braking, and High Speed. We’re awarding 1 winner $500!

To participate, screenshot each zero-incident drive and post on facebook, twitter, or instagram with the hashtag #Life360SafeDriver and @Life360

We will choose one winner from April 12-18 who has posted the most Safe Drives from their account!


We leave you with this heart breaking, but touching story of the dangers of texting while driving. Remember – Just Drive.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April is observed as Distracted Driving Awareness Month by the National Safety Council. To help raise awareness and encourage discussion about safe driving habits, we will be sharing a number of resources throughout the month – here on our blog and on the Life360 Facebook page.

The National Safety Council estimates that more than 40,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes last year. Cell phone use was the leading cause!


Since launching our Life360 Driver Protect service, we have been able look at driving behavior trends across our millions of users. Our data shows that a cell phone is used on average 1.78 times during each drive. This is the national average, and unfortunately cell phone use on the road is much more frequent in some areas. Check out additional insights from the National Safety Council and our own driving behavior data analysis:




We encourage each of you to start a conversation with your loved ones about how driving safely could save lives! Putting your cell phone in the backseat, waiting to eat, and staying focused on the road are all ways to improve bad driving habits.

Become a Life360 Beta Tester

Do you like getting first access to brand new features? Are you excited to help Life360 build the best app we can?

Join our Life360 Beta Program!

As a beta tester, you receive an early version of Life360 not yet available in the App Store or in Google Play. That means you get to see and play with experimental features. Just by using it like you normally do, you help us directly with issues and bugs so that we can fix them and send out updates ASAP.

As a beta tester, either you can be the only one in your Circle on beta or invite other Circle members to join the beta program, too.

We use feedback from the way beta testers use the app to improve performance. You don’t even need to send us information about a problem, our technology will detect it. If you do see a bug you want to report, just shake your phone and a window will pop up with your device and version information to send to us in order to help diagnose the problem.


To join the beta program as an iPhone user, join our wait list by clicking here to get started.

  • After you send us your email address, you will recieve an email from TestFlight
  • Follow the instructions on the TestFlight email to download the beta version of Life360
  • You will be sent emails whenever there is a new beta build

To join the beta program as an Android user, while on your phone, click here to view Life360 on the Google Play store.

  • Scroll down until you see the option to be a beta tester
  • The beta app is updated like any other Google Play Store app
  • We recommend enabling auto-update, click here for instructions

Ask a User: How Does Wi-Fi Improve My Family’s Location Accuracy?


Why Does Life360 Ask Me To Turn on Wi-Fi?

You may have received a push notification from Life360 telling you that your friend or family-member arrived at home or work, but telling you that to improve their location accuracy, they should turn on Wi-Fi.  That’s strange, isn’t it?  What does Wi-Fi have to do with location?  Well, plenty, actually.


How Wi-Fi improves location accuracy

Both Apple (for iPhones) and Google (for Android) keep databases that tell them that a given Wi-Fi network is at a given location.  So if your phone can “see” that network, then you must be very close to that location.  This is a basic part of your phone’s location services.  Life360 does not keep this database, nor do we even know which networks you’re near — Google and Apple handle that for us, all we get is an improved location.

Being able to see what Wi-Fi networks are close by also helps tell your phone when it is in motion — if it starts seeing a constantly changing list of networks, it follows that it’s moving, and it can then turn on other location services (such as GPS) to get an accurate fix on your location.


I don’t want to connect to strange networks!

Don’t worry, you don’t need to connect to any network in order to get this improved location accuracy.  Your phone will get much better locations even if you never connect to any Wi-Fi network ever!  This is because wifi networks broadcast their presence freely — your phone can tell it’s near a wifi network without that network ever knowing about your phone or getting any information from it.


I’m worried about battery drain

The battery drain of having wifi turned on is minimal.  Because your phone is not exchanging any data with the networks it “sees,” it uses very little battery.  In fact, in some cases you may save battery by getting a very accurate location using wifi instead of GPS, because GPS uses more battery than Wi-Fi.


How about privacy?

The Wi-Fi networks that you are nearby learn nothing about your phone just by your turning on Wi-Fi.  You would have to actually connect to the networks for them to discover your phone, and that is not necessary for the improved location experience.  Your phone will never connect to a new network without your specific action.

Life360 gets only one piece of information from wifi location:  better location.  We do not see which networks you are near or any network traffic from networks you are connected to.  The only information you give us is more accurate, better location.


How do I turn my device’s Wi-Fi on?





Have a question for our next Ask a User segment, send it to for a chance to be featured in next month’s post?

Introducing: Driving by Life360

Life360 introduces it’s most exciting, new feature: Driving


Driving is now available for Life360 Circle members. This new feature allows members to view detailed information about how their friends and family behave while driving.

Each drive gives a detailed view including:

  • Top Speed Know how fast your loved ones are driving
  • Detailed Drive Routes View our most accurate routes
  • Dangerous Driving Events Did the driver use their phone or brake too hard? See the number of unsafe events


To view a drive, go into a Circle member’s profile and click on a Drive, like the picture below. The information provided will show start and stop time and locations, the top speed reached during the drive, and if any Unsafe Driving Events occurred during the drive.

Unsafe driving events include phone usage (like texting, or picking up your phone while the drive is happening), rapid acceleration, and hard braking.




In order for Life360 to detect Driving for a user, Circle member’s must turn their ‘Drive Detection’ setting to On. To do this:

  • A Circle member goes to their menu in the top left corner
  • Tap Settings
  • Tap Drive Detection
  • Slide it to on (or off if you’d like to turn Drive Detection off)

Life360 can also send alerts after each drive. Keep in touch with your family, and know when they arrive safely. To turn on a Driving Alert and to recieve a notification for any Circle member:

  • Tap your menu in the top left corner
  • Tap Driving
  • Slide the button to on or off for the Circle member you want to recieve Driving Alerts for


Life360 is very excited to expand location and alert capabilities to include Driving. We hope this new feature provides even more peace of mind for you and your loved ones. We also hope this sparks conversations with your loved ones to encourage better, safer driving for everyone!

Comment below and let us know how you will use Driving with your Circle!