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

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D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore...

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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020

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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.

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