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04 October 2023

Phone app that stops a car driver from texting

By Reuters

Twenty-year-old Zack Kaufman is an inexperienced driver.

His mother Rita Kaufman wants to ensure his safety.

So she installed an app on his cell phone which prevents Zack from texting or e-mailing when his device moves faster than 15 miles per hour.

And it also tracks his whereabouts.

Zack wasn't wild about the idea.

"Initially I was thinking, 'Well why don't you really trust me so much?' But then I began to understand that as a child, as a new driver, I know that it tends to be a huge temptation just to look at your phone, even for just a second."

The National Transportation Safety Board reports a substantial increase in texting-related accidents in the last decade.

They recommended in 2011 that all U.S. states ban the use of mobile devices while operating a vehicle.

And NTSB chairwoman, Deborah Hersman says some drivers are traveling great distances without watching the road.

"We know the people on average, when they're texting behind the wheel are looking down and not paying attention to the road for about the length of a football field."

And most drivers agree that blocking texting and e-mailing while driving would improve safety.

"I think it would, definitely. There's a lot of phone-related accidents, right?"

"The fact that I'm a mother and I have kids, I think that's a great idea. None of them have their license yet, but they're close to it."

And Rita Kaufman says Zack's phone app helps her sleep at night.

"For me it's the peace of mind and my peace of mind and knowing that he's safe, it overrides any other issue that I have as a parent."