We are all familiar with the term “there’s an app for that,” but what we may not be familiar with is the fact that a driver increases their risk of being involved in a car accident by 23 percent when they choose to participate in distracted driving activities like texting or e-mailing.
Although abstinence is really the best policy when it comes to texting while driving, cell phone manufacturers and software designers across the nation are well aware of the fact that many drivers seem to be unable to control the urge to text.
The programs that developers created and released last year include applications that shut off a phone’s e-mailing, texting or even call capabilities when the GPS device senses that the phone is traveling at a speed greater than 10 mph. However, those programs still require self control by the user to voluntarily decide to activate the program knowing it will prevent them from sending messages while driving.
For those who need to stay in touch, the developers have created new hands free devices they hope will reduce the number of accidents caused by a driver paying attention to their phone instead of the road. The latest software allows for hands free texting. The new applications automatically read a text message out loud to the driver and then allow the driver to dictate a message in reply.
Although these programs seem to provide a great solution, drivers should beware. Some of the applications still require a driver to hit the send button and some applications contain glitches that could cause the driver to look away from the road and grab their cell phone to see why their dictation has not been sent.
Source: The Miami Herald “Keeping your hands on the wheel, off the keyboard” Bridget Carey 1/17/11