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Can Technology Stop Texting and Driving?

Posted on Feb 26, 2014
The device can easily be plugged in and provides notifications when unplugged.

In many ways, modern technology has made driving safer. Adaptive cruise control, blind-spot detection and dual-stage airbags have certainly done their part to reduce the amount of automobile accident fatalities. But modern technology can also be a double-edged sword as we’ve also seen an incalculable amount of accidents caused by texting and driving.

So how do we properly wield the double-edged sword of modern technology? Ironically, the answer might be even more technology.

Online car insurance provider Esurance has released a tool that, in addition to giving parents a foolproof way to watch over their kids, can entirely disable the ability to text and drive.

The “DriveSafe” device plugs into the onboard diagnostic port of a vehicle and wirelessly communicates with the Esurance smart phone app. Users, usually parents, are able to customize what the phone can and cannot do while the driver (or child) is behind the wheel.

Everything from texting to calling to tweeting can be easily disabled while a parent can still enable the phone to receive incoming calls from them or access navigation apps. The only thing that can’t be disabled is the phone’s ability to call 911.

But it doesn’t end there. The “DriveSafe” app also gives a report of where the driver is/was, what time they left and arrived as well as the average and maximum speed of their trip. It even goes so far as to report “Risky Events” such as speeding and hard braking. And just in case kids try anything they should not, the device also provides notifications when removed from the vehicle.

Technology like this cannot only give parents the tool to check up on their kids that they’ve long desired, but could also reduce the number of car accidents by disabling texting and driving altogether.

Opinions about whether or not this technology is overly intrusive will vary greatly, but it also poses another question:

Is this what it’s going to take to keep people from texting and driving?

In the United States, there are over 500,000 accidents caused by texting and driving every year. Instead of having to resort to technology like the “DriveSmart” app, everyone should take the “DNT TXT N DRV Pledge” and end this deadly epidemic.   

The automobile accident law firm of Hupy and Abraham is taking the initiative to stop texting and driving once and for all. The firm is offering free “DNT TXT N DRV” bumper stickers to everyone and recently participated in a leadership summit to spread the message to children at an early age.