|New Technologies to Stop Texting and Driving
By: Jessica Cherok
Despite the dangers, we just can’t seem to keep ourselves from texting and driving. For those having a difficult time putting down their phones to pay attention to the road, new technologies may provide an answer.
There are already applications to keep us from texting or answering calls while driving. Apps like Textecution, tXtBlocker, and AT&T DriveMode all block calls and messaging features while the phone is in motion. Some apps include additional features for parents (or employers) to be notified of particular activities.
It’s interesting to note that many of the hands-free applications do not actually reduce the amount of distraction, and in some cases end up being equally, if not more, distracting to the driver. This has increased the call for mobile devices to be put down completely while driving.
There are some shortcomings, however. Applications that automatically turn on when detecting speeds higher than 10 mph can be limiting usage for passengers in the car. Similarly, drivers can easily bypass the application by simply clicking the passenger option.
For the most part, keeping people from texting and driving is an awareness issue. Campaigns like It Can Wait and the Safe Texting Campaign are aimed at educating drivers, in particular young drivers, about the dangers of being distracted.
We’re likely to continue to see an increase in these as we become more and more intertwined with our mobile devices.
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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