Archive for January 11th, 2011

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Keep your teenage drivers from texting

January 11, 2011

Channel News reports that the Florida-based company PhoneGuard has created Drive Safe Software which is designed to prevent accidents due to cellphone-related distractions. The software will have the capability to disable texting, emailing, and keyboard functions in cars moving faster than 9.9 miles per hour. Drive Safe functions by using a GPS to track speed and coordinates, and automatically turning off cell phone capabilities at certain speeds. Employers will also be able to control texting by drivers who operate commercial vehicles including trucks, taxi’s, and school buses. Passengers in the car can press a specified button to request permission from the phone’s administrator to use the text function. The software will also include a “time out” feature which will control the hours when children can text, email or surf the web.

This software might be the solution to the number of accidents caused by cellphone-related distractions. According to the US Department of Transportation, texting is the leading cause of distraction-related accidents. The NHTSA reports in 2009, there were nearly 5,000 fatal car accidents with cellphones being the culprit. According to statistics from the National Safety Council, about 2,600 deaths and 12,000 serious injuries per year nationwide are attributed to using a cell phone while driving
If you are driving while distracted, your reaction rate is decreased by about 20 percent. This means you are going to take 20 percent longer to realize there is impending danger and either brake or swerve to avoid it. When you figure a car averaging about 40 m.p.h. will travel 164 feet from brake application to full stop including driver reaction time (about 1.5 seconds), it means the car traveled 88 feet before the driver even realized there was a problem and applied the brakes. Hopefully Drive Safe will help car accidents caused by cellphone-related distractions become a thing of the past.

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