Each year 1.4 million car accidents occur due to people using their cell phones. Over 200,000 of those accidents are from people who were texting and driving. Even with strict cell phone laws in most states, drivers are still tempted to talk (or text) and drive.
Do you want to protect your teen driver, or eliminate your own temptation to pick up the phone while driving? Phone applications have been introduced to prevent accidents from occurring by disabling or enhancing your phone to ensure that it is hands-free while the car is moving. The new phone app’s can block anything from phone calls and texting, to browsing the internet while driving. Each application is different and work with different phones.
Here are a few app’s that can stop the distractions to help you get to your destination safely:
1) DriveSafe.ly: The iSpeech Inc. application doesn’t detect if you’re driving. Instead, you tell it that you’re driving by turning it on. The app will then read incoming text messages aloud. Be careful though: if you forget to turn it off after getting out of the car, DriveSafe.ly could create some embarrassing moments! The service is available for BlackBerrys, iPhones, Android and Windows Mobile phones. A free version reads out only the first 25 words of each message. The “Pro” version costs $13.95 to buy, with no service fees.
2) Cellcontrol: This service from ObdEdge LLC uses a $60 device that plugs into the car’s onboard diagnostics port (which is usually under the steering wheel). A separate application for the driver’s phone costs $25 to download and $8.95 a month to use. The phone connects to the device in the port through wireless Bluetooth technology. When the device detects that the car is moving, it tells the phone to lock texting, calling or both, depending on the user’s settings. It works with BlackBerrys and phones running Windows Mobile and Symbian software.
3) iZup: This application from Illume Software uses a phone’s GPS chip to determine if it’s in motion, then locks predetermined phone functions such as texting and calling. The service can’t tell if you’re the driver or the passenger. To use the phone as a passenger, you must have a password and go to iZup’s Web site to temporarily disable the service. The service works on BlackBerrys, Windows Mobile and Android phones. The cost is $4.95 per month or $49.95 per year.
4) DriveSmart Plus: This application from LocationLabs, is a one-time subscription service that automatically enforces no texting or talking while driving. This app costs $4.99 per month. It uses GPS technology to detect when the phone is in a car and locks the phone’s ability to text or call. When the app is activated, it sends calls to voicemail and sends autorespond message to incoming texts. It is not clear if this app blocks other applications, such as Pandora or Facebook. One downside is that the phone will lock when you’re a passenger or on public transit due to the GPS technology. You do have the option to override and unlock the calling and texting features. For parents, the app will notify you by email or SMS text if it is overridden.
5) Phoneguard: This free app works with smartphones like Android, iPhone and BlackBerry. With GPS technology, it detects when the car is in motion over 10mph to block all calls, text messages, e-mails, and internet. If you are driving and receive a text message, your phone will respond with “I am driving and will contact you when I reach my destination.” When at a red light, your car is no longer over 10mph, the app stops and you can use your phone. If you pay for the $29.95 version of the Drive Safe version of Phoneguard, you also have the ability to monitor speeding.
To learn more about how it works, watch the video below:
Remember that using your cell phone while driving is illegal in most states and is very dangerous. Stop the car to use your phone and tell your kids to do the same. Have you ever had a car accident due to texting and driving? Would you consider using these apps? Add a comment below to let us know!