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Kid-Safe Solutions to Texting While Driving

by on May 16, 2012
in Phones and Mobile, Phone Accessories, Cell Phones, Mobile Apps, Android Apps, BlackBerry Apps, iPhone/iPad Apps, Travel & Entertainment, Car Tech & Safety, Tips & How-Tos :: 6 comments

Does your child text? Does he or she drive? Chances are they’re doing both at the same time. According to a recent AT&T Teen Driver Survey, 61% of teens say they glace at their phone while driving and 61% say they've seen friends read or send an email or text while driving.

As we head into summer, deemed the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers on the road by the AAA, it may be time to re-evaluate the measures you've put in place to curb phone use for you and your child. Fortunately there are solutions that automatically kick in when the car starts rolling. These solutions come in two basic types:

Cell Phone Applications
Apps such as T-Mobile's DriveSmart Plus and Key2SafeDriving sense when you’re driving, usually by GPS measuring your speed, and disable most or all of your phone's functionality once a pre-determined speed is reached. All offer some sort of emergency override and passenger-usage exceptions, and some include Web-based cell-phone-use monitoring. You can opt into receiving messages whenever the app is overridden for cell phone use while driving.

Combination Hardware/Apps
These solutions work like the stand-alone apps, except instead of relying on GPS to sense car usage, a small module gets attached to a part of your car such as the emergency brake or the OBD (on-board diagnostics) module. Once the module is triggered by car usage, a signal disables your phone. Another set of solutions uses a Bluetooth module to enable all-voice and text-to-speech capabilities.  

Email and Texting Solutions
 Name Type App
Hardware (HW)
Software (SW)
Service
Operating
System
Trigger Subscription Price
cellcontrol disables/monitors App/HW/SW Blackberry
Android
speed yes $25, plus
$8/m or $129 no monthly fee and no phone changes
Key2SafeDriving disables/monitors App/HW Android
Blackberry
ignition no $99.95
StopTxting disables App Android speed no free
Sprint Drive First read/compose App Android speed yes $2/m per line
T-Mobile DriveSmart Plus read/compose App Android speed yes $4.99/m for up to 10 lines

 

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Driving and Texting

From LAURA LONG on May 16, 2012 :: 11:09 am

The only way to avoid this is to make it mandatory that the cell phone go in the trunk while driving.
If they want to use it they have to be stopped.

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Limited (& pretty much useless) "solution"...

From Mark Eisenberg on May 16, 2012 :: 11:30 am

The “solutions” you cite are available only for Android devices, which, I believe, are still a very small percentage of the market…most kids are using iPhones if they’re using a smartphone, I’ll bet…so this, right now, is a non-solution…the only real solution will come when all phones come with this sort of safety software built-in…

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Price Difference

From Sandy Golden on May 16, 2012 :: 11:32 pm

You say that the “cellcontrol” solution is $28.00 + $8.00 per month.  Upon attempting to purchase the app at their e-commerce partner the cost is a flat $129.00!!  What give with that?  Why the huge discrepancy?

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two payment options fo CellControl

From Suzanne Kantra on May 17, 2012 :: 1:18 pm

Hi Sandy,

I checked in with CellControl and here’s what they said.

“You can pay $129 up front with no montly fee, however, if you require access to modify the policy its $5 a month. If you know you will want to manage the policy and make changes and/or add additional phones you can buy the $25 up front model, with $8 a month fee.

Sorry for the confusion!

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Texting is Dangerous while driving

From Julie C on May 20, 2012 :: 12:09 pm

This is a very dangerous issue, I have noticed myself how dangerous this could be while I am trying to drive and make a call!  I don’t know what the answer is, but kids don’t really realize the danger in texting while driving.

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Kids

From Nate on June 16, 2013 :: 9:13 pm

When your children reach driving age it because the law believes that they are responsible enough to follow the rules of the road.  By the time the have had their permit and then proceeded to receive their license you parents should have taught them everything the need to know about driving. I’m 18 and I can guarantee you every friend I have has texted while driving at least once.  Dangerous? Yes.  A couple close calls? Yes. Enough sense to put the phone down and concentrate a little harder? Usually. And I would say girls are more apt to text and drive.  A current fad is to take pictures of themselves while driving, tweet while driving, and even browse the Internet. A restrictive app is only going to infuriate your child.  What if they are the passenger in a car?  Then they can’t use their phone??  It all comes back to parenting.

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