It’s not rocket science: Texting while driving is dumb, not to mention dangerous. Yet we still do it, especially teenagers who as new drivers should be taking extra precautions. According to an AT&T commuter survey, 49 percent of commuters admitted to texting while driving. But the statistics don’t lie. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute Research says that those who text and drive are 23 times more likely to be in a crash. Apparently the temptation to constantly be in touch with loved ones outweighs the desire to stay safe.
But even cellphone carriers have banded together to stop texting and driving, all uniting behind AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign. All of the Big Four carriers are backing the multi-million dollar campaign, all the while acknowledging that the products they put out can indeed be dangerous. Plus, three out of the Big Four have their own apps to curb texting while driving. (T-Mobile did have its own app, DriveSmart, but it discontinued. A T-Mobile spokesperson said, “DriveSmart was a great idea, but we found there were others in the software developer ecosystem who were offering better solutions that we could.”)
Luckily there are a slew of apps out there to make it easier for you to avoid texting while driving. However, it’s worth noting that only one of these apps is supported in Apple’s App Store, so parents may want to reconsider getting their newly driving teenager an iPhone. From safety apps by carriers to apps that let you respond to texts using voice to apps that block your phone from receiving messages while your car is in motion, these apps protect you from yourself.
AT&T gives its customers a way to avoid texting distractions while driving with its AT&T DriveMode app. You can set up auto-replies that are sent to incoming texts, emails and calls, then when you're driving you don't have to worry about responding to anything that comes to your mobile device.
Notification sounds are silenced when you're on the road, and you don't even have the option to read or compose texts or emails. However, DriveMode does let you make or receive calls for up to five people, and you can always call 911. Plus, you can access one music and navigation app while you're driving.
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