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May 5, 2014

New Technology Prevents Distracted Driving

By now, most are aware of the dangers of distracted driving. It recently surpassed drunk driving as the number one cause of road accident fatalities, causing 81 deaths in 2012 compared to 55 drinking driving deaths in 2013. Last year, police issued 51,000 tickets for distracted driving offences – many of which involved texting or emailing while driving.

The focus on distracted driving has boosted demand for innovative technologies designed to prevent cell phone use by drivers.

Cellcontrol of Louisiana is one of a growing number of tech companies with products designed to eliminate distracted driving. Cellcontrol offers a smartphone-disabling technology that either plugs into a car’s diagnostic computer or attaches to the windshield in the form of a small black transponder. It senses when a vehicle is in motion and disables the driver’s phone according to preset conditions. So parents can disable their teen’s phone when the car is in motion while ensuring that calls to 911 can be made in the event of an emergency.

Cellcontrol claims their product is “the only accurate, reliable and enforceable distracted driving solution available.” It costs $119 to $129 USD and is compatible with iPhones, Androids, and Blackberry. A no-brainer for parents of young drivers.

Cellcontrol also has a product for businesses that rely on employees who take to the road. Their enterprise-wide system allows employers to set their own mobile-device policies and limit cell phone use in work vehicles. It’s a smart way for employers to keep their drivers safe while protecting themselves from potential legal consequences stemming from a distracted driving accident.

There are other ways to help reduce distracted driving on our roads. USA Today lists a number of apps to help keep our roads safe:

  • TXtBlocker  allows parents to limit where and when texts can be sent and received. It also allows them to track the phone’s location on the internet.
  • TeenSafer is software for smartphones and tablets that detects when the vehicle is in motion and automatically puts the device in “safe mode” while driving. “Safe mode” blocks access to the keyboard and screen and silences all notifications and alerts, including incoming calls, texts and emails.
  • SafeCellapp automatically disables calls, emails, and messaging functions on smartphones.
  • The Vehawk app tracks driver cell phone usage during a trip and sends notifications to the account holder (most likely a parent) when a text while driving has been detected. Parents can also access detailed route maps, text messages, and calls that were made during a trip, and track dangerous driving behavior like speeding.

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