Today Show – Apps to Stop Texting and Drivng

My smartphone is like a second appendage to me - I’d be lost without it. However, one thing that I do avoid is talking or texting on my phone while driving. With this in mind, I spoke with Lisa on the Today Show about a range of new apps that are designed to stop people texting or calling while driving. Below, I have given a quick rundown on what they do and, where able, given a cost. With approximately 40,000 people fined last year for talking on their phones, it’s probably not a bad idea to look into one of the apps on offer.

Drive First App

  • New Android app that stops people texting/calling when driving
  • Detects when car is in motion
  • Redirects calls to voice mail and blocks text messages when car is in motion
  • Auto-responds to texts that driver is unavailable
  • Allows access to three key contacts in case of emergency
  • Allows GPS function of smartphone to work
  • Has override button for passengers (might defeat the purpose of having it in the first place)
  • Available in US in 3Q 2011
  • Not available in Oz yet

Cellcontrol

  • Bluetooth communicates with smartphone
  • App tells smartphone it will stop texts/calls when car is in motion
  • Ongoing cost could put people off buying
  • Available for Blackberries, Windows Mobile and Symbian phones
  • Device costs $60 plus app $25 plus monthly fee of $8.95

DriveSafe.ly

  • Uses trust system
  • Person must switch on system when driving
  • Will read text messages aloud when driving
  • Must switch off service when you stop driving
  • Free version reads out first 25 words of text
  • Pro version will read out whole text
  • BlackBerrys, iPhones, Android and Windows Mobile phones
  • Pro version is $13.95

iZup

  • App uses GPS chip in phone
  • Once app realises smartphone is moving faster than you can walk it will lock some functions.
  • You will not be able to write texts or make phone calls
  • Flaw is that it can’t tell if you are driver or passenger
  • Passenger can turn off the service, but only if you are using mobile wireless broadband.
  • For Blackberries, Android and Windows mobile phones
  • $4.95 a month or $49.95 annual subscription.