Drivers everywhere are taking the pledge to not text while driving. You may have also seen the hashtag #itcanwait being tweeted posted everywhere to encourage everyone to join the cause for safer driving and take the pledge. With about 100,000 texting-related accidents occurring every year, I definitely agree that while your smartphone with a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ mobile processor is a multi-tasking machine, it’s best to save anything other than driving for another time.
The Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) also showed that texting behind the wheel is more dangerous than driving under the influence of alcohol or marijuana. Steering control worsened by 91 percent and reaction time slowed by 35 percent.
There’s also a big push from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to make it illegal in all 50 states to text while driving (it’s already illegal in 41 states). For some, though, it’s still tempting to send a message while stuck in traffic, so some states like New York have recently created 91 different “Text Stops” along the highway for drivers to pull off the road to answer an important call or text.
To help keep everyone safe on the road, we’ve put together the top apps to stay text-free on the highway and make it easier to take the #itcanwait pledge. In addition to these apps, check to see if your smartphone has a Driving Mode, which many smartphones makers including Samsung and Microsoft are including in devices to keep users safe on the road.
Available for Android and BlackBerry devices, DriveSafe.ly by iSpeech.org lets you listen to texts, SMS and emails using iSpeech Text to Speech technology. You can then respond by voice so your hands are on the wheel at all times.
Sprint and AT&T apps
Sprint and AT&T have both created apps to help keep your hands smartphone-free while driving.
AT&T DriveMode, available for Android and BlackBerry devices, pictures above, locks your phone when it detects your car is in motion. The app temporarily limits the features of your phone, but also lets you set up auto replies for texts, emails and wireless phone calls that let your friends and family know when you’ll get back to them.
Sprint Drive First for Android (pictured above) also automatically locks your phone to prevent distractions from texts, calls, emails and apps. It’s also compatible with Bluetooth in your car and headsets so that calls can go through when the driver is using a hands-free device.
Are you ready to take the #itcanwait pledge?