Apps that Curb Texting and Driving
Ever wonder how reckless your child is behind the wheel? Does the thought of them texting at 60, 70 miles per hour make you sweat? What about you? Are you guilty of the very thing you don’t want your children doing?
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, one in every 10 highway deaths are caused by distracted driving. While texting behind the wheel is just one of the many distractions drivers have at their fingertips, the U.S. Department of Transportation wants it stopped.
Companies like Sprint, AT&T and State Farm are on board. They’ve created apps that promote safe driving habits for drivers of all ages. We’ve highlighted some of them below. If you know of an app we don’t mention, leave our readers a comment in the comment section at the bottom of this page.
AT&T “Drive Mode” – Free app. Available on Android or Blackberry. Automatically replies to an incoming text message that let’s the person texting know you’re driving and can’t reply. The app also silences audio for texts, emails and phone calls and blocks Internet browsing and outgoing phone calls — emergency calls being the exception.
Sprint “Drive First” – $2 per phone per month with required subscription. Sprint Drive First locks the phone when the car is traveling faster than 10 mph. When the phone is locked, calls are sent to voice mail. Audio tones for email and text are silenced and auto-replies for text messages are sent indicating the person they texted is driving and can’t reply. The app lets parents enable restrictions and allows parents to choose five numbers that are allowed to ring through the locked phone.
State Farm “On the Move” — Free. Available on Android. Sends an auto-reply to the texter telling them you’re driving and will reply later.
State Farm “Driver Feedback” — Available on Android, iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. DriverFeedback measures acceleration, braking and corning. It then provides a log of any possible dangerous behavior and tips to improve your driving. According to State Farm, they do not collect the information from made available from the app. Watch video to learn more.
DriveSafe.ly — Free. Available on Blackberry, iPhone, Android and Windows Mobile. One touch activation. Reads text messages and emails out loud in real time. Optional customizable auto-responder. Click here for more info.
Key2Safe Driving — Available on Android. Device plugs into the OBD II port, much like a USB port, located under your steering wheel. Prevents texting while driving and sends automated responses to incoming texts. Calls are forwarded to voice mail. Collects data, allowing parents to monitor phone activity while driving. Because it’s an actual device, it’s more difficult to enable and disable. If the device is tampered with, the activity gets logged. Allows for hands-free phone usage and emergency phone calls. Costs $99.95.
OTTER’s Text and Drive Solution — Free on Android. The OTTER software, first developed in late 2009, was the first app of its kind that integrated a texting auto reply and GPS functionality to produce a tool that allows users to manage their texts while they are at home, in the office or, most importantly, on the highway. OTTER also includes a GPS based Parental Control feature for the highest risk drivers — teens. OTTER presents itself as a texting management system for any situation. It’s easy to schedule “texting blackout periods” so you can do one thing well, like focus in an important meeting or a movie, without feeling disconnected from your personal network. More details here.