“Don’t Text and Drive” has been the slogan used by public safety, law enforcement and other advocacy groups in an effort to change distracting behaviors behind the wheel for the text-obsessed. We have observed in the past that the use of technology can reduce driver distraction, yet it remains inconclusive that today’s newest tech is up to the task.
The reality here is that texting is a primary communication tool for parents, kids, friends and colleagues. Whether while driving, walking, sitting or standing still, texting is an act many will not stop no matter how much we try to stigmatize it or campaign against it.
So it’s refreshing to see a new partnership between Ford and Life360, a location services start-up, offering a smartphone app that helps to mitigate the need for texting against the dangers of distraction while driving. Automatically launching when the smartphone pairs with a Ford Sync system, the Applink-enabled “Drive Mode” app sends messages to a user’s preset “circle” of family, friends, business associates or service providers. A default “I’m driving” message is sent while the vehicle is in motion, and a follow-up notification is sent when the smartphone is removed from the vehicle.
Since many text messages simply asks “Where are you?” or “Did you arrive?” the app’s location-based capabilities can also be used to send automated alerts to specific groups upon arrival at predetermined destinations. The user can even permit others to pinpoint them and their address manually on a map
Used properly, the Drive Mode app could help to reduce the amount of text messages sent to drivers while offering location-based information to specific persons automatically and/or on-demand. That is significant: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety claims that 11 teens are killed every day due to texting while driving. With texting responsible for almost one-quarter of all crashes in the US in 2014, even a slight reduction would save thousands of lives.
The Drive Mode app is not a one-size-fits-all solution to the ongoing problem of distracted driving. But it is a practical and easy way for drivers to receive and transmit basic information without becoming a menace on the road.
Source: Ford And Life360 Partner On App To Curb Distracted Driving – Tech Crunch