While it is true that many car insurance companies have released applications for policy service for phones that use Apple iOS, Google Android OS, Research in Motion BlackBerry OS, and Microsoft Windows Phone 7, none of them are meant to be used while driving. These apps, like many others, are meant to be used when you’re parked and not behind the wheel of your car.
Too many drivers are already distracted enough without bringing their smart phones or dumb phones (these are called feature phones in the wireless industry) into the mix. Surveys have shown that nearly one out of every five drivers are using their phones to surf the Internet, which is a dangerous behavior.
One could probably say that almost every single app made for these smart phones should never be used while you’re driving. But you’d be wrong, because I’ve recently found a company that produces three distinct versions of the same application which is intended to be used while driving.
ZoomSafer is the company that produces these apps. Matt Howard, a software entrepreneur, founded ZoomSafer when he was involved in his own distracted driving accident that saw him nearly kill a nine year old child.
There are three different versions of the application: one is aimed at businesses that maintain corporate fleets of trucks and drivers; the second is aimed at parents for use on teenager’s cell phones; and the third is aimed at the general public. While those may seem like three diverse and unrelated target markets, the applications all provide the same basic functionality: they prevent use of the phone for calls, texting or emails while you’re driving.
These applications are available for iOS and BlackBerry OS right now. FleetSafer, which is aimed at businesses, is available in BlackBerry OS and Windows Phone OS, and an Android version will soon debut.
While it should be common sense to not use your phone while driving, if you’re simply unable to put your phone down, these applications can force you to, since they’ll no longer work once you get behind the wheel. The applications use the GPS unit in your smart phone to detect when you’re behind the wheel based on speed.
Here’s a look at how the TeenSafer version works.