There is no doubt that texting and driving is dangerous. In fact, I really wish Texas would clamp down on texting and driving by making it illegal. I talked about the dangers of distracted driving on numerous occasions and how texting is by far the worst on list of these distractions. Mainly because it involves all three types of distractions (visual, manual and cognitive). Yet, being almost totally disconnected from your task at hand (driving), it still isn’t enough to keep people from doing it.
So, until it becomes illegal to do so, people are still going to text and drive. What do you do about this? Apparently, if you are an app developer, you create new applications for our phones to help us sideline the texting and driving issue. GeekSugar.com has compiled a list of six apps we can use. Check them out!
This BlackBerry app called DriveSafe.ly reads your incoming text messages and emails to you thanks to its text to speech functionality. You can even create customizable auto-responses for your outgoing messages.
On the Move (Free)
This Android app, called On the Move, was developed to deter avid texters from checking their screens while driving. Acting as an auto-reply tool when you receive a message, On the Move tells the texter that you’re driving with a customized alert.
Not only does the Android-based Otter send auto replies to texters when you’re on the road, but you can also build custom quick responses, so you don’t waste time fumbling to text back on your small virtual or QWERTY keyboard.
Called ShoutOut, this iPhone app dictates your speech to a text message, then sends it along to your chosen recipient. This app comes with a per-text cost though, with 50 voice-to-text messages costing $2, and 250 voice texts setting you back $5.
Type n Walk ($1)
Meant more for walkers than drivers, the Type n Walk app works with other apps and programs on your iPhone to give you a view of where you’re going so you can stare at your phone all the time. This way, you won’t run into telephone poles, mailboxes, and you know, other people.
Sprint’s Drive First App
Available for $2 a month in the third half of 2011, the Sprint Drive First App will lock up your phone while driving and route all calls to voicemail. Additionally, it will block all text message alerts and send an auto response saying the driver is unavailable, but still give you access to three main contacts, three apps, and GPS.
That’s all well and good, but in all honesty I don’t think these apps should cost a dime! In fact, they should be technology that’s included in your phone. Now I know that isn’t realistic, but if apps like these can curb texting and driving accidents, phone manufacturers should seriously consider making them a standard inclusion, or at the very least educate the users on their existence.
Thoughts? Comments? Do you have one of these apps? Do you use it? If you don’t, does paying a fee for the app itself or any additional service deter you from adding it to your phone? Let me know, all of us at Freeman Grapevine are not only looking out for your safety, but also the safety of those you share the road with.