Safer Cell Phones

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Jessica Bills -- Companies are cracking down on texting and driving through various different avenues.

First there was a problem with people talking on their cell phones while driving, but now, no one does that anymore…right?

Unfortunately, there is a different trend besides driving while talking on the phone.

Cell phone carriers and app developers are coming up with ways to curb texting while driving in an attempt to make the streets safer for all.

According to the Center for Disease Control, 15 people on average are killed and more than 1,200 people are injured every day in accidents caused by distractions. Commercials and ads have also been flooded with campaigns to end these deadly distractions.

Even the phone carriers are doing their part, with “Don’t text and drive, it can wait” stickers on the screens of most brand new phones and a documentary about texting and driving made by AT&T.

But there are other methods being used besides the commercials we see on television.

Most of the phones are in part responsible for distracted drivers and the phones themselves have the potential to help change the trend.

Some of the common smartphone apps released by carriers, like T-Mobile and Sprint, use the GPS navigation in your phone to detect car movement and will send calls to your phone’s voicemail automatically while incoming text messages get a custom reply.

Though being able to have phones disabled temporarily while driving has the potential to make the roads a little safer, the ability to do that will still come with a monthly cost at the hands of the carriers.

For those who would still like to take action against texting while driving, other apps are available that come with one time fees.

One app called Cellcontrol, made by Scosche, is available for over 1,200 different devices on several different mobile operating systems. The app itself makes a Bluetooth connection to a car and when in motion locks the use of the phone until the car stops. This safety app is all for a one-time price, as opposed to the monthly rate of carrier apps.

Although most of the apps can keep an eye on the phone while driving, they all depend on the person to go out, buy the app, use it and not disable or remove it.

But what if there was something out there that took careful watch, something that did not depend on a person buying, downloading, setting up and using an app?

Thanks to Tobii Technology, wandering eyes will be detected when they go from the road to a potential distraction.

In late November 2011, Tobii Technology released a new platform of their eye tracking software. The eye tracking is able to not only notice when drivers look down and away from the road to the cellphone on their lap, but can also detect drowsiness. The software has no restriction of eye shape, color or size.

The tracking system boasts in its ability to operate even when the driver is wearing sunglasses. Whatever the circumstance, it keeps a constant feed of data in regards to the driver’s state of attention, or lack their of.

Whether it be through diligent tracking software systems in cars, or through the use of apps on phones, texting while driving is now a target on the list of things to stop.

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