TEXTING WHILE DRIVING? – Not with these apps!

Written By Andrew Nimmo Page Editor

Does your child text? Does he or she drive?

Chances are they’re doing both at the same time.

According to a recent study, 40 percent of drivers reported they’re on their cellphones while driving at least a few times a week. As a result 22 percent of car accidents in 2009 were caused by cellphone usage.

Since adults can’t seem to stop themselves from deadly in-car multitasking, it’s probably not realistic to expect your teen to refrain from using his or her phone while driving.

The release of some new apps that automatically kick-in when the car starts rolling, will hopefully keep drivers safer and less distracted. These solutions come in two basic types.

Cellphone Applications

Apps such as T-Mobile’s DriveSmart Plus and Key2SafeDriving sense when you’re driving, usually by GPS measuring your speed, and disable most or all of your phone’s functionality once a pre-determined speed is reached.

All offer some sort of emergency override and passenger-usage exceptions, and some include Web-based cell-phone-use monitoring. You can opt into receiving messages whenever the app is overridden for cell phone use while driving

Combination hardware/apps

These solutions work like the stand-alone apps, except instead of relying on GPS to sense car usage, a small module gets attached to a part of your car such as the emergency brake or the OBD (on-board diagnostics) module.

Once the module is triggered by car usage, a signal disables your phone. Another set of solutions uses a Bluetooth module to enable all-voice and text-to-speech capabilities.

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