We know that cellphones and driving don’t mix. Despite the accidents and known risks, 89% of teens say they reply to a text message or email within five minutes, driving or not. So can the technology responsible for distracting many drivers, also serve to prevent roadway collisions and close-calls?
A new app called DriveScribe turns your phone into a “driving coach.” Aimed in particular at helping those new drivers learn the rules-of-the-road, the app monitors speed, and blocks all texts, updates and calls while the car is in motion. It uses GPS, social media, real-time voice feedback and a jamming function to block texts and calls. The app will tell drivers to slow down if they’re going too fast.
While driving, the phone can stay on the seat, in a cup holder or in another mount in the car. And there’s no need to handle the device once you’re on the road; just tap “start trip” before you being driving, then “end trip” when you’ve reached your destination. Parents of teens can sign up for updates that let them know if their teen has violated any roadway laws. Another incentive to drive well are the points drivers accru for being safe behind the wheel, which can eventually be used to buy giftcards.
“The ability to take the very device that is distracting most teen drivers and turn it into something that not only coaches them but offers a path to rewards is a game changer,” says Will England, founder and CEO of DriveScribe. “While the app limits distractions and monitors performance, it also guides and encourages teens to drive more safely by rewarding smart driving. It’s a win-win: Parents get peace of mind and teens get great stuff when they drive well.”
App makers have already jumped on the idea that if drivers aren’t willing to put down their cellphones, startups may be able to restructure the way people interact with phones while driving.
Other apps that serve to curb distracted driving include DriveOff by insurance company, esure. The free Android app can detect when drivers are traveling at more than 10mph, and will shut off other apps that could be distracting, as well as temporarily halt incoming calls and text messages. The app DriveSafe.ly reads your SMS messages aloud to you, so you don’t need to pick up your phone.
But it may not just be talking and texting that is distracting drivers. In a YouTube video, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood says his department is conducting research on whether or not GPS devices and hands-free headsets distract drivers by affecting cognitive abilities.
Texting and Driving is becoming one of the most common reasons for accidents across the nation today. There are enough distractions on the road as it is, so why add another by having a smartphone in the hands of drivers to only add to the chaos.
There have been Accidents in Phoenix, and across the nation where this app could have prevented the accident from occuring in the first place. This is a great idea. Now all we can do, is hope it catches on throughout the nation.