Free Program Helps Texting Drivers Stay Safe
I found that I was being distracted by activities on the cell phone — looking at emails more than I should.
Like many, Jack Martin was a distracted driver who would look down at his cell phone instead of focusing on the road. “Your thinking about being effective in you job. As a result, you overlook the safety considerations.”
For some, looking down at their phone was the last thing they did. The federal government says last year, 6,000 people were killed and 500,000 were injured using their phones.
“A little bit over a year ago, I was heading into work and got a text. I looked down, then up and hit a 9-year-old boy on his bike.”
The boy lived, but for Matt Howard, it changed everything. “I thought to myself there has to be a better way for me to make decisions while I was driving.”
So the software entrepreneur came up with “ZoomSafer.”
The program is free and works on smart phones that have GPS.
Here’s how it works: When your phone is traveling 10 mph, the keyboard shuts down so you can’t text.
“If someone were to send you an e-mail or test, the service will send a reply on your behalf letting the person know that you are driving and focused on the road and you’ll get back to them when you get to your destination safely,” explains Howard.
For six years, state Sen. Mark Montigny has tried making texting behind the wheel illegal. Fellow lawmakers have resisted.
With technology doing what lawmakers can’t has Montigny thinking. “If this software fits in and there is a way to mandate it, let’s say with a junior driver, that’s something for debate.”
“It’s really a matter of behavior modification and the behavior modification is understanding the ‘I’m not as good a driver while I have my cell phone,’” explains Howard.
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