Distracted driving is dangerous. No need to say much more on that. Unfortunately, plenty of us still do it. Perhaps it’s a false belief that an accident won’t “happen to me” or some insatiable need to stay informed or connected. Regardless, there’s clearly too much of it on our roads. 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 endangers both your life and the lives of anyone else on the road.
To contribute to the fight against distracted driving, a number of applications for all the major phone operating systems have been created to help discourage drivers from texting or otherwise give the driving less than their full attention.
Those who send text messages while driving are 23 times more likely to experience a crash. As we start the new year, here are some apps which may help you to avoid becoming a statistic.
1. 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.
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.
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. Lets 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.
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).
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.
Original list of apps can be found here: http://mashable.com/2012/12/17/texting-driving-apps/
Submitted by Scott Feifer