Companies roll out apps to prevent reckless driving

Too many accidents are caused by distraction and carelessness. Some car accidents even result in wrongful death. In an effort to prevent texting while driving and other distracting practices, companies such as Sprint and AT&T are introducing apps that may help curb such behavior.

According to WANE’s website, such apps will automatically turn off texting and incoming calls while the driver’s phone is with them in a moving vehicle. However, AT&T’s app has five designated phone numbers that can go through, and drivers can always call 911.

However, drivers won’t get a notification if they get a text message or phone call while driving. That way, drivers won’t be as tempted to get out their phone and distract themselves when they should be keeping their eyes on the road.

Sprint’s app will automatically lock the phone if it travels faster than 10 mph. AT&T’s app has to be manually turned on. As a plus for parents worried about teenage drivers, the app can also notify them if teens turn it off.

If you are riding as a passenger in a vehicle and Sprint’s app automatically locks your phone, it will work again within a few minutes after the phone stops moving. If a passenger wanted to make calls while moving, the app would have to be deactivated.

Sprint’s app reportedly costs $2 per month, while AT&T’s is free. At this time, Verizon does not have a similar app.

The mother of a teenager who was killed when a semi hit his van says the apps are a good thing. She tells WANE, “Anything you can do to deter people from being distracted is a great thing.”

Source: WANE, “App takes temptation out of texting while driving,” Sept. 16, 2011