Stay focused on the road not on your smartphone. Don’t text and drive. It CAN wait.
There’s no point in arguing that smartphones haven’t completely changed the way people interact with one another and source information in the modern world. One of the most dangerous and unfortunate side effects of mobile smartphone technology, however, is distracted driving. A study conducted by the Transport Research Laboratory revealed that texting while driving may present an even greater risk than driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. The average time drivers take their eyes off of the road to text is five seconds – traveling at 55 mph, that’s enough time to traverse a football field, completely blind.
According to Distraction.gov, the government’s distracted driving website, 3,154 individuals were killed in distracted driving crashes in 2013.
While many states have enacted tough laws that affect all drivers, The U.S. Department of Transportation has led the effort by banning texting and cell phone use for commercial drivers in all states, while launching a number of campaigns to help spread awareness of the issue. Despite these efforts, many commercial drivers continue to use their phones while on the road, typically without ever thinking of the risks.
What You Can Do
Luckily, those tempting phones hold the solution to the problem: there are a whole slew of apps that prevent texting while driving, in a variety of different ways. The more basic free apps, like AT&T’s Drive Mode, detect when a vehicle is in motion and disable text alerts. Paid apps like Cell Control have programs designed specifically for commercial autos. They give you metrics on employee driving performance, can be configured to allow or disallow certain phone functions, and have partnerships with some insurance companies to offer discounts for users.
The Bottom Line