Hang Up and Drive

By on September 1, 2009
RoadKing Mag

When a four-wheeler slows down, speeds up and drifts in and out of their lane, you are almost guaranteed to find the driver yakking on a cellphone or vigorously tapping out a text message.

Technology has made distracted driving an epidemic on our roads. Could more technology be a cure?

That’s the thought behind Zoomsafer, a developing software for mobile phones that goes into action when a vehicle starts moving. The driver hears a gentle reminder to drive safely, while the software shuts down texting access and screens incoming calls.

“We’re not trying to be the moral authority on phone use in the car,” says Matt Howard, founder of Zoomsafer. “Different people have different needs, so the software lets drivers whitelist some calls to ring through.”

A parent who doesn’t want to miss a call from a child, or a salesperson waiting to hear from a client will still be accessible for those calls. Any non-listed callers get a message that the person they are trying to reach is now driving.

If drivers want to text, they need to turn the application off first.

“Zoomsafer does not block the ability for a driver to send a text,” says Howard. “What it will do is offer a reminder that texting while driving is dangerous.”

Ideally, the driver who still feels the need to text will pull over.

The company is registering customers for the initial version of the software, and plans to add premium features like voice activation and automatic driving status updates for Facebook and Twitter.

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