When you drive around Lake Charles, how often do you see people texting and driving? How often do you see people paying more attention to their cellphone than the road in front of them? There is no doubt that cellphones cause distracted driving which increases the risk of getting into a car accident. Smartphone applications may currently be a part of the problem, but some smartphone applications may help drivers help themselves.
AT&T and Sprint both offer smartphone applications that help drivers keep their eyes on the road and not on their cellphones. Both companies offer applications that reduce the functionality of cellphones when people are behind the wheel. The smartphone applications disable the driver’s ability to text, make phone calls and receive phone calls. Drivers can receive incoming phone calls from five designated numbers and are still able to dial 911 in an emergency. The smartphone applications also allow drivers to simultaneously use one GPS navigation application and one music application.
Drivers who have used the smartphone applications say the applications are helpful because they are not tempted to pick-up their phones since they do not hear text signals and phone rings.
Drivers who use the AT&T app have to turn the app on every time they get behind the wheel. Drivers who use the Sprint version can turn the app on once. The Sprint app engages every time a driver travels more than 10 miles per hour. The app disengages the phone once the driver travels below 10 miles per hour.
Source: wane.com, “App takes temptation out of texting while driving,” Sept. 17, 2011