If you’re a parent of a teen driver, you worry what they’re doing behind the wheel, and if you can’t be in the car every time they are driving, you have to trust that they’ll do what you’ve told them.
“When you’re 16, you want to do a lot of things,” said Bob Wood, who already keeps an eye on his 16-year-old son with a GPS tracking device on his truck.
But the reality is that more teens are texting, driving and crashing. He wants to do more. Rightfully so, as his son Robert admits he and his friends sometimes text while driving.
“When I’m on my way to pick somebody up, I’ll call them and tell them that I’m coming to pick them up. Usually in traffic I’ll text them. I get bored,” Robert says.
“Texting and driving kills more kids than drinking and driving,” says Tish Troutman. She says she’s found the next best thing to sitting in the car with your kid. “Obviously we all know it’s a problem and there hasn’t been a solution until now,” Troutman says.
It’s called Cell Safety. Once the application is downloaded to a cell phone, it disables texting capabilities while in a vehicle going faster than 10 miles an hour. Text messages can not be sent or received until the vehicle stops, and a message will pop up on the screen if you try. Once the car is stopped, you may have to wait as long as 90 seconds before texting can resume.
It’s not the only product of it’s kind, but some believe products like this could help curb the texting habit, and keep us safer on the roads. “I think once the kids get this or are used to having it, and know this is what’s going to happen, that’s exactly what will happen. They’ll go, ok text? I’m pulling over,” Bob Wood says.
The program costs about $12/month and some believe this technology could spread beyond teens, to adults as well, “Even if you think to go to do it, you’re reminded instantly, so it’s just a reinforcement to not text and drive,” Troutman says.