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Apps to help you stop texting while driving

In our continuing series on tech to help meet your New Year’s resolutions, we hope you vowed in 2011 to quit the dangerous habit of texting while driving. If willpower alone is not enough, there are a few smartphone programs that can help.

Although if you have an Android or BlackBerry, you'll have more support than iPhone users. That's because the iPhone versions of many of these apps aren't allowed to mess with stopping text messages while the phone is traveling in a car.

You can read the full breakdown of these apps in my print review on MiamiHerald.com.


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Erik Wood

I think real change on this issue is going to come from the end user - the delivery man, the car pooling mom, or the teen driver deciding to change their habits. From truckers to moms to teens that I spoke with on the issue of text and drive - there was one common thread. If presented with a Big Brother type lock down alternative, they will immediately seek "to get around it". This does not constitute change on our highways. Selling expensive software that is supposed to lock down the activity forgets that it is the end user (the driver) who will ultimately decide. Let's change behavior and we will see those violent crash rates plummet...now.

I decided to do something about distracted driving after my three year old daughter was nearly run down right in front of me by a texting driver. Instead of a shackle that locks down phones and alienates the user (especially teens) I built a tool called OTTER that is a simple GPS based, texting auto reply app for smartphones. OTTER also silences those distracting call ringtones unless a bluetooth is enabled. OTTER is four dollars with no fees which demonstrates how accessible this technology is right now. I think if we can empower the individual then change will come to our highways now and not just our laws.

Erik Wood, owner
Footnote: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cms6fL75pwo

Brittanie Holderness

While an app can't completely stop the urge to text and drive, it can at least prove a starting point to find the best method to reduce the occurrences of texting while driving. Responsible driving can only go so far, since it can't stop others from being tempted by the mobile phone inside a car.

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