Traffic accidents caused by distractions like texting may soon be a thing of the past due to new software that was launched at CES last week.
Florida-based PhoneGuard has launched the Drive Safe Software suite which has been specifically designed to safeguard mobile phone/PDA or smartphone users from being able to text and drive. Powered by NetQin, PhoneGuard can disable texting, emailing and keyboard function of a mobile phone in a vehicle moving faster than 16 kilometres per hour.
“PhoneGuard’s Drive Safe Software takes away concerns surrounding driving distractions and the illegal use of cell phones,” said Scott Frohman, CEO of PhoneGuard. “This is a critical tool in saving lives – whether parents or employers are controlling texting on the highways. It’s a small price to pay for incredible protection.”
By using GPS to track speed and coordinates, Drive Safe Software automatically turns off a mobile phone’s texting capabilities when the phone is in a moving vehicle. The software also knows when a driver is moving at an unsafe spped, and can notify the phone’s administrators by text message when it is in a vehicle that has gone over a certain speed limit.
Depending on the type of Drive Safe Software used, the phone can also incorporate a ‘time-out’ feature which can be used by parents to control the hours when their children can text, email or surf the web, for example during school or work hours.
While all distractions can endanger drivers’ safety, texting is the most alarming, according to the US Department of Transportation. In North America in 2009, nearly 5,000 fatal auto crashes involved driver distractions such as texting and mobile phones, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Employers can also use Drive Safe Software to control texting by drivers who operate commercial vehicles including trucks, taxis and school buses. Case studies show that no matter how good a driver may be, texting is a distraction that could likely cause an accident. The results can range from having a commercial drivers license revoked to costing a driver or innocent bystanders their lives.