Authorities cited distracted driving as the cause of more than 3,300 deaths nationwide in 2012, the latest year available, and thousands more injuries. Despite media attention and public outcry asking drivers not to text and drive, distracted driving continues to be a major cause of motor accidents.
Surveys show that drivers recognize the danger of distracted driving, and 43 states and the District of Columbia forbid texting while driving, yet large percentages of drivers — including roughly three-quarters of teens and other young drivers — continue to do it anyway. We have not managed to put down our devices long enough to get from point A to point B, even under threat of death or injury
For all of us who know better, but can’t seem to police ourselves nor our driving-age children, a market has emerged for apps and other aids that limit distracted-driving for us.
Cellcontrol, of Baton Rouge, La., is one of a growing number of third-party suppliers of systems that let an administrator, likely a parent, to limit their child’s phone use while the car is in motion. Cellcontrol charges $119 to $129 for its device, which either plugs into the car’s diagnostic computer or adheres to the windshield in the form of a small black transponder.
The device determines when the vehicle is in motion and disables phone functions to the administrator’s preset customized levels, such as enabling only calls to emergency numbers or preventing texting. The device can determine who is driving, so if the driver hands the phone to a passenger, that passenger can access the device’s regular phone and web functions.
Hopefully apps like these can help drivers resist texting and driving when their willpower fails.