News

Apps that turn your phone off when driving

Parents of teen drivers have yet more weapons in their arsenal when it comes to keeping their kids safe behind the wheel.

A company called 10n2 Technologies has developed an app that allows you as a parent to control your kids’ cell phone use remotely while they’re driving.

This is not a free service. You have to spend $7 a month to enforce your “no cell phone use” policy. The app is so far available only for Android and BlackBerry, not iPhone.

There’s also another likeminded pay service calledTextecution.com that disables texting while driving. And I’ve heard anecdotally that AT&T and Sprint offer similar services on their smart phones for free.
The way these things generally work is that when a car goes over 10 mile per hour, the app blocks emailing, texting, browsing, and even common calling. It only allows calls to 911. So basically, this app makes a phone inoperable while in motion.

There’s an override for a passenger that requires someone other than the driver to go through an Attention Verification Test. The test is reportedly too complex to go through while driving. No matter how many times you tell your kids not to use their cell phones while in the car, they do it anyway. In fact, The Detroit News  reports the following alarming tidbit: “26 percent of teens read or send a text message from a smartphone at least once every time they drive, whereas only 1 percent of parents believe their teen does this.”

I plan to use these kinds of apps or whatever technology exists when my middle schooler starts driving in a few years. Because the temptation is just too great to look down when your phone chirps and see the latest message.

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