Can Technology Help Prevent Distracted Driving?


Distracted driving due to technology is a hot button issue, with government officials busy drafting legislation to deal with it and parents scrambling to figure out how to prevent their teen drivers from texting behind the wheel. In the meantime, distractions are causing serious and sometimes fatal accidents. To address these distractions, some developers have created apps and tools that may be used to help rather than hinder road safety.

Cell Phones On the Road: GA Car Accident Lawyers

It’s estimated that some 660,000 U.S. drivers are using cell phones or other technological devices while driving at any given moment. The sheer pervasiveness of technology in our lives has led to more unsafe drivers on the road in Georgia and across the U.S. Among drivers under the age of 20, 11% of those involved in a fatal accident were reported to be distracted at the time of the crash.

Some believe that even though technology is contributing to crashes, it could similarly be used to reduce car accidents involving distracted driving. To that end, several apps and tools have been created to cut the number of people texting behind the wheel.

A Game to Reduce Distractions? Car Accident Lawyers Georgia

The creator of a game called Road Wars believes his invention can help focus a driver’s attention where it belongs—on the road. But not everyone’s convinced. For some, the anti-distraction game is simply, well, distracting.

Players of the Road Wars game, created by the same developer who started the travel site Kayak, are challenged not to use their phone or speed while driving. The game rewards focused drivers by giving them roads. The more roads you “capture” the more coins you earn.

If your phone alerts or rings and you touch it while driving, you don’t earn roads and coins. However, a reviewer from Jalopnik.com says the flashing lights of the app and the fact that you’re supposed to have your phone remain upright and stationary while the game is in use both make it a distraction.

Apps that Limit Phone Accessibility From GA Car Accident Lawyers

Other apps are less like games and are simply utilitarian tools. They can completely disable your phone when you reach a certain speed or they can alert parents when their child is texting behind the wheel. They come at several price points, from free to around $80, but if they actually work, they’re priceless.

DriveSafe.ly is one such app. It is a simple design that reads text messages and emails out loud to you while driving. It automatically responds without you having to touch your phone. It also lets you customize automatic responses.

Textecution is another, unique to Android app that limits your phone’s functionality while you’re in motion. If you travel more than 10 mph, your texting features are disabled. Once you slow down, they switch back on. TextLimit.com is similar to Textecution but lets you set the speed limit at which it is disabled.

Some apps are specifically designed for parents who want to keep tabs on easily distracted teens. Canary, for example, doesn’t block texting features, but it does alert parents when their teens unlock their phones while driving. It can also tell parents when their young driver is speeding or misses a curfew.

Are These Tech-Tools Worthwhile? GA Car Wreck Lawyers

In 2011, an estimated 1.3 million crashes were blamed on cell phone use. That’s 23% of all accidents nationwide. Some drivers have no problems shutting off their phones while behind the wheel. For others, however, the temptation to text, call, and email is problematic.

Whether you are an admitted distracted driver or if you have a new driver in your home that you need to keep tabs on, these tools could be a worthwhile expense.

We’d love to hear your feedback. Have you tried one of these anti-distraction apps? If so, was it worth the cost?

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