New App Prevents Driver Use of Phone: Can’t We Control Ourselves?

Why can't we just put the damned things down?

Why can't we just put the damned things down? (image by csmonitor.com)

It’s probably no secret that I’m a huge fan of technology.

I love it.

I’ve seen a ton of technical advances in my lifetime, and the smartphone is one of the best. Being able to conduct business anywhere in the world if you’ve got the right technology, like a great smartphone, is a wonderful thing. I can’t be the only one who thinks so, since Apple is expected to sell north of 86 million iPhone units in 2011, and Android manufacturers will combine their many, many models for even more sales. And car insurance companies love them too, as demonstrated by some interesting and odd applications.

For as nice as technology is, everything isn’t always great. Always a dark side to every positive. Which in the case of smartphones begs the question - are we so dependent on our technology that we’ve got to leave it up not to our own devices, but to our devices – our smartphones – to keep us under control?

Distracted driving kills millions in the United States each and every year. And one of the primary reasons so many of us are not giving driving our full attention are things like the cell phones who’s virtual keyboards we can’t seem to pry our fingers from, even if we’re behind the wheel of a two-ton hunk of steel, aluminum and plastics that’s hurdling down the road at speed.

For those of us who don’t seem to be able to grasp the concept of putting our devices down during our duties as drivers, there’s a new smartphone app that makes your smartphone unusable while driving. Yes, your phone will take responsibility for keeping you from using it while driving.

Although this really won’t control an adult, who should already have self-control mastered, will it? That’s probably why PhoneGuard Drive Safe is being aimed at a way to keep children, rather than you, from texting.

The application is straightforward. Anytime the phone reaches a speed of 10 miles per hour, the app locks the smartphone keyboard, and the user won’t be able to email, Facebook, surf the web or text on their phone on locks the phone’s keyboard, preventing the user from emailing, surfing the web or texting while driving.

The application is available now for Apple iOS, Google Android and Blackberry devices. While it may be able to add a layer of parental control over children, it still doesn’t answer why we simply can’t control ourselves and put the phones down when we’re behind the wheel of a car.


About Cecil Helton

Cecil Helton Cecil Helton is a U.S.-based writer and editor with passions for cars, motorcycles, boats, technology and social media. Much of his professional life since 1996 has been web-centric, and he’s written and developed content on a variety of subjects. His work in the houseboat industry received wide acclaim, such as winning the 1999 Cisco Systems Growing with Technology award and being named one of five finalists in the manufacturing sector of the 2000 Computerworld-Smithsonian Awards. As an Air Force brat, he spent much of his childhood in a two-year cycle of moving to a new place, making new friends, establishing a life, and then moving again. Destinations included: Kentucky, Illinois, Texas, the Greek isle of Crete, California and Ohio. Today you’ll find Cecil coping with his 15 year old son’s decision to pursue a motorcycle license at the same time he gets his driver’s license, being active across the web on multiple social media sites, and of course, writing articles and creating content on automotive and car insurance related topics right here at CarInsurance.org.


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