New tech aims to reduce distracted driving accidents

Keeping the ones you love safe can be a fulltime job. The concerns of parenting seem to grow along with the children. Will the child make friends at school? Will he or she get hurt when playing sports? Will they get in an accident because they were texting while driving?

Is texting while driving really dangerous?

The short answer is yes, texting while driving is really, really dangerous. Unfortunately, it is also an activity that is happening on roadways throughout the country at an alarming rate. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted a study on this growing trend. According to the agency’s findings, there was a 336 percent increase in the use of phones to text or type from 2009 to 2014.

How can I keep my teen safe while driving?

Numerous technologies are available to help reduce the risk that your teen, or any driver, will use his or her phone to text, take selfies, or otherwise distract themselves while driving. One such technology is a new device, called the Cellcontrol DriveID.

The system is similar in appearance to a small cellphone. It’s a small, black device about the size of your palm. It attaches directly to the windshield underneath the rear view mirror. Once mounted, the owner sets up an online account and designates an account administrator. This administrator can set up the system to lock certain applications while the car is in motion.

Consumer Reports recently ran a piece on the device, noting that in addition to locking all phones within the car while it is in motion, it also has the capability to decipher between a phone in the driver’s seat and one being used by the passenger. As a result, it can be set to allow use by other passengers in the vehicle.

This device is also set to notify the account owner if the registered phone is disconnected from the device or if the application is removed from the phone.

In addition to controlling smartphones, the device can also be set to monitor the speed of the car, braking patterns and other driving practices. A notification can also be set to contact the administrator if the car goes above a certain speed.

Do these devices really work?

Data is not yet available on the impact of this and similar technology, but taking steps to reduce the risk of texting and driving accidents is generally helpful. Even conversations with teens may help to increase awareness and decrease the risk.

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