Thursday, January 21, 2010

Talk to Teens About Distracted Driving

New research findings by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show nearly 6,000 people died in 2008 in crashes involving distracted driving, and more than half a million were injured. Many are teens.

There are technology tools that help, including newly launched iZUP™ (“eyes up”), a new mobile phone application. iZUP runs quietly in the background and automatically launches when it detects that a phone is in a moving vehicle. While driving, incoming calls are sent to voice mail and text messages are held until the vehicle stops and a driver can read and respond to them safely.

iZUP also prevents outgoing communication while driving, yet authorizes calls to three pre-determined numbers, such as a parent’s cell phone. The application always allows emergency calls to 9-1-1. When the driver places an emergency call, the software generates an automatic notification to the account holder and sends a Google Map specifying the exact location of where the call was made.

iZUP, and other similar tools seem like a smart addition to education and constant reminders, a way to ensure your child doesn't die because they decided to respond to a text message "just once."