While Bluetooth has reduced the chances of call-related accidents in cars, similar technology has yet to be developed for texting. Texting while driving kills an average of 11 teens per day in America, and 46% of drivers under 18 admit to texting on the road.
When Foster Oliver’s car was crushed by a concrete-mixing truck with a texting driver, he decided to do something about this growing hazard. He hired a technology company to create an app called No Text No Wrecks, which uses GPS-based software to determine when someone is on the road.
The program was primarily designed for teen drivers, and it will block texting, web browsing and calling on the phone if the user is traveling more than 10 mph. The system still allows for calls to 911, but it reduces the chances of someone getting distracted by a phone while driving.
When someone tries to text or call a phone with this app, he will receive a message explaining the recipient is traveling and will respond at a later time. Parents can override the system to allow calls from specific phone numbers, but if the driver tries to override it, the parent will receive a message indicating this is taking place.
“Your kids are going to get frustrated, I can tell you that now,” Oliver told WRAL. “It’s a very frustrating thing, because we have to re-educate them.”
Currently, the app is only available for Android phones, but an iOS version is planned next year. The app costs $8.95 to purchase.