Posted: 9.27.12

With a large number of statistics reporting on the impact of texting while driving, it’s clear that there are massive risks involved.  Although many people are becoming aware of the dangers, they might not realize that they’re putting themselves at risk.  by the University of Michigan revealed that drivers might not be aware of their actions in the car.

Researchers focused on the variable of automaticity and how a person who checks their phone out of habit, without thinking about it, has a high level of automatic behavior.  The findings showed that some people feel compelled to check their phone or read new messages, and any cue, such as a vibration or sound, can cause the person to automatically react without even realizing their action.  If people don’t realize their dangerous behavior, they can’t change it.

A new app, however, might provide a helpful solution to this issue.

Jim Wojciehowski developed the app after learning about a tragic event.  Anchorage Daily News reported that a teen girl in Alaska fatally hit a man early on Easter Sunday in 2011. The investigation found the girl to be texting while driving and continued to text “OMG, OMG” while leaving the scene of the accident. After hearing news, Wojciehowski, a physician’s assistant in Alaska, decided to take action and help prevent tragedies like this from occurring in the future. He came up with an idea for a smartphone app that would eliminate phone distraction while driving.

He created , which works by blocking all incoming calls and texts when a user is moving faster than 10mph. It also locks the phone so that the user can’t place a text or make a call while driving. The phone allows users to include three safe numbers, so if something happens while the user is moving, they can still call for help. Parents have the option to password protect the app on their teenager’s phone to ensure responsible driving, and they receive a notification if there is any attempt to disable it.

By reducing distractions from cell phones, drivers are free from the temptation to use their phones while operating a vehicle.   By focusing on the task of driving, you avoid a preventable accident and the risk of harming yourself or others.  No text or call is worth risking your own or your loved ones’ lives.

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