Texting while driving makes you 23 times more likely to crash. But how do you go text free when you can’t seem to ignore your phone’s pings?
State and local governments are trying to help by enacting regulations to help make the roads text free. New York is one of the 41 states that have already banned texting while driving. Now the Empire State is taking an unconventional approach toward the problem by installing 300 road signs directing drivers to 91 “text stops” throughout the state. These are areas where drivers can pull over in order to safely tap out a message.
New York is the first state to try this novel approach toward making the roads text free. They have good reason to try: This past summer, New York saw a 365 percent increase in tickets issued for distracted driving compared to the summer of 2012. That comes out to 21,000 tickets in just three months.
Will other states follow suit? It’s too early to tell. In the meantime, these apps can help you go text free if there are no text stops in sight.
Apps to help you drive text free
DriveScribe is a free app for iOS and Android users that blocks all texts and calls when it’s switched to “driver mode.” The app also keeps you in the loop about posted speed limits and alerts you when you’re going too fast. It also keeps concerned parents in the loop by sending text or email alerts when a child’s vehicle exceeds the speed limit.
txtBlocker lets you customize exactly when and where your phone shouldn’t accept calls and texts. (For instance, you can permanently set it to block communication while you’re commuting.) Anyone trying to communicate with you will either go to voicemail or receive a message letting them know tXtBlocker is active. The app is compatible with all wireless carriers and costs $6.99/month.
OneProtect is an app for Android and Blackberry users that requires you to indicate whether you’re a driver or a passenger. There’s no fibbing allowed: If you claim to be a passenger, be prepared to pass an Attention Verification Test in order to text or make a call. (Emergency phone calls are allowed at any time.)
Tame your texting habit
Technology can be your best friend or your worst enemy. By taking advantage of these apps, you can make it your ally.