The statistics are staggering. We’ve probably all seen the billboards, the commercials, etc., pleading with us not to text while driving. According to distracteddriving.gov, in 2009 nearly 5,500 people were killed in car crashes as a result of someone being distracted behind the wheel. Nearly 450,000 were injured. Driving while using a cell phone reduces the brain activity associated with driving by 37%. The facts go on and on.
With smartphones, people get nearly everything they need in one device. They use their phone for texts and calls, of course, but they also use phones for gps, music, Internet, etc. The amount of potential distractions on the road is increasing all the time.
No Texting and Driving
Now, some phone companies are hopping on the bandwagon and saying “No texting and driving!” Sprint has launched an app for their Android smartphones called Sprint Drive First that will hold all of your phone’s texts, calls and other phone actions while the user is driving. The phone will detect when it’s moving more than 10 miles per hour – and automatically proceeds to forward everything to voicemail until the car has come to a stop.
AT&T and T-Mobile have similar apps as well with a few slight differences. DriveMode from AT&T needs to be turned on manually and will send a customizable auto-reply to any incoming texts, emails and calls that says the driver is unavailable to reply because they’re on the road.
T-Mobile’s app, “Drive Safe. Drive Smart”, will let users manage possible distractions from their phones. The basic app comes preinstalled on T-Mobile phones. The driver manually initiates “drive mode” for the free basic app. In the Drive Smart Plus app, the phone will automatically engage drive mode once it detects the user may be driving.
Similarly, a company called WebSafety has launched comprehensive mobile software called CellSafety that allows users to block access to texting, email and Internet any time the phone is moving above 10mph. The phone will lock, allowing users to drive undistrated. This is the perfect solution for parents of young teenage drivers hitting the roads for the first time. CellSafety is compatible with Android, Blackberry and Symbian technologies on all four major U.S. phone service providers.
Here at Pulse, we’re doing our part to keep people safe on the roads. A USDOT (publication number TSF811129) demonstrated that with Pulse installed on your car, distracted drivers are nearly 70% more likely to notice you stopping or slowing down ahead of them.
Being a company centered around automobile safety, we like hearing about other companies who are promoting a similar message! Texting while driving is dangerous and costs lives. Any effort to reduce distracted driving behavior is welcomed, especially if phone companies are on board. Just say no to texting and driving!
*photo credit Alex Lloyd from my.hsj.org