Apps to Prevent Texting and Driving

We know it's dangerous, yet some of us still do it. Whether by sheer reflex or the need to know what is going on, checking a text at the wheel of our car is probably one of the most costly things we can do.

And, even if you expose your teen to lengthy lectures and graphic driver's ed videos depicting the hazards of texting while driving, it can still be difficult for them to put their phone away when they are at the wheel. Numerous cell phone providers trump this temptation with text blocker apps.

According to the Texting Awareness Foundation, about 6,000 deaths and half a million injuries are caused by distracted drivers every year. Taking your eyes of the road for a split second will not only not only endanger you but the lives of others on the road, as well.

Applications for virtually all phone devices have been created to help steer not just teens but adults in the right direction, to help combat the desire to text while driving. From blocking texts completely to sending auto-reply texts in your place, some apps will reward you for simply driving well and following road rules.

Those who send text messages while driving are 23 times more likely to experience a crash. Here are some ways to risk becoming a statistic.

AT&T DriveMode

By limiting the extra features on your phone, DriveMode automatically sends pre-set replies to incoming texts to let people know you are driving. Once the app is selected, all calls, texts and emails are silenced, and the app blocks you from reading or typing anything.  It does offer leniency, however, giving you the option to receive and make calls with up to five people, plus 911, and allows you to access your music playlist.

Drive First from Sprint

One of the most comprehensive examples. This free app automatically activates when it detects the phone is moving faster than 10 mph. It silences the phone’s ringer and alerts, and if any texts or calls come in, Drive First sends an automated response saying you are currently on the road. This app also locks your phone, with the exception of three apps you designate (such as navigation or music). It also lets you designate VIP contacts, allowing your family or your boss to connect with you. Parents can log into their Drive First account online and monitor how their teens are using their phones when they're driving.

DriveSafe.ly

Instead of completely blocking your incoming messages, DriveSafe.ly actually reads your text messages, calls or emails aloud. By reading to you, the app eliminates that urge to grab your phone and take your eyes off the road for a split second. Best of all, it automatically responds to recipients for you (with a pre-set response) or allows you to respond by voice, totally hands-free.

Textecution

For those who really don’t want to mess around, Textecution uses GPS to determine speed at which your car is moving. If you are traveling more than 10 mph, the application will disable texting, so you cannot receive or respond to texts. You will be able to unlock messages when going less than 10 mph. Let’s say you were a passenger, though, or on a train; the app allows you to ask for permission from the admin, who will be able to override the settings.

DriveScribe

It’s about time we were rewarded for safe driving. DriveScribe's app measures and evaluates your driving performance by giving you points, based on how well you stay within the speed limit and obey traffic signals. Users can redeem points for gift cards and discounts at certain stores. If you are interested in your driving patterns as well, the app tracks distance driven, average speed, maps of routes driven and descriptions of your violations (if any).

Text-STAR

Part auto-text responder, part digital personal assistant, Text-STAR aims to get you where you need to go without any distractions. Able to sense motion, the app disables texting when you drive 10 mph or more. It also allows you to schedule auto reply texts in advance, if you plan to be busy at a later time, whether you are driving or doing something else.

Fleet Safer

FleetSafer Mobile is an application designed by ZoomSafer (now Aegis Mobility) specifically for commercial fleets, available for Blackberry, Windows, and (coming soon) for Android mobile devices. The software automatically locks the phone during driving to prevent calls, texts, and e-mails. It also sends auto-reply messages to incoming texts and e-mails. Customizable and flexible to enforce most corporate distracted driving policies, FleetSafer Mobile can be triggered either by telematics, Bluetooth, or GPS systems.

From articles by USNews.com | Ubergizmo.com