Below is an article posted today by Andrew LaVallee called Texting While Driving: Are You an Offender?. This is a follow up article to an earlier post called Firms Racing to End Texting and Driving. See the quote from a Vlingo user!
For the growing number of tech companies developing safety measures for texting while driving, the reasons are often personal.
Matt Howard, a co-founder of Reston, Va.-based Zoomsafer, began work on the service after nearly hitting a neighbor’s son while texting in his car. Looking for an application for his BlackBerry that could prevent that from happening, he was surprised to see nothing available. Zoomsafer’s BlackBerry app is now scheduled to become available in a few weeks, followed by versions for Windows Mobile and Google Android.
Timothy Smith, chairman of Aegis Mobility, heard about the company from someone who lost his son to a driver talking on his cellphone. Key2SafeDriving, a Windows Mobile service that deactivates the cellphone screen when the car is in motion, was created after its inventor was run off the road by a cellphone-using teenager, said Mike Fahnert, chief executive of Safe Driving Systems, the company producing it.
As with most wireless services, your carrier, phone and operating system will affect which ones you can use. Textecution, a $10 application that disables texting when moving faster than 10 miles per hour, is currently only available for Android-powered phones, said Joe Lemire, its co-founder. His goal is to connect with an insurance company that can help fund a second phase of development for other platforms.
On the flip side of firms providing text-delaying services are those that make it easier to speak your texts and keep your eyes on the road. Marcy Hurlburt, a Middletown, Conn., administrative assistant, sometimes had to take both hands off the wheel to use her BlackBerry Storm, but she’s since added Vlingo, a voice-recognition app. Now she speaks her tweets. “I use it in the morning on the way to work, or on my way home.” Oftentimes, she said, they’re about “frustration at the idiot drivers that cut me off — or are talking on their cellphone.”
Do you text while you drive? Do you see other drivers doing it?