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Using technology to help prevent distracted driving

If you're an anxious parent who is worried about your son or daughter driving while distracted by a cell phone, there is new technology being developed that will help you sleep soundly at night. Now considered an epidemic by many, the amount of accidents that have resulted while young drivers are talking, texting, or even browsing the internet has skyrocketed in the past few years.

One product called Cellcontrol gives parents peace of mind by preventing their children from using cell phones while driving. The product costs $7.95 a month and can be used on up to six different phones. More and more, proactive parents are beginning to realize that the urges they have to call or text someone while driving are far more difficult to postpone if you're an active high school student with a busy scholastic schedule and social life.

Many parents are raving about this new technology, agreeing that it makes the roads safer for their kids and others, and also provides reassurance at a time when nearly ½ of young drivers use their phones to browse the internet even more than they use an actual computer; and more than one-third use smart phones to access social media networks like Facebook and Twitter.

In addition, downloadable applications that thwart drivers from using cell phones while a vehicle is in motion are gaining tremendous popularity with rental companies that provide corporate fleets. As of 1 January 2012, new federal regulations took effect that require commercial truck and bus drivers to pay a fine of up to $2,750 for each time they are cited when texting, talking, and especially dialing while driving.

Some even argue that texting, or any other act that is considered to be driving while distracted, is taking over as the new "driving under the influence." In many states, there are now more accidents reported of drivers driving distracted than there are of drivers driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances.

Another company out of Needham, MA called Illume Software has developed a product called the iZUP that is used for Blackberry and Android devices. The product costs $20 per year and blocks people from using their cell phones while a vehicle is in motion. It automatically sends all calls straight to voicemail and holds any and all data interaction (such as texts) while the car is moving.

Other types of technology like Trinity-Noble's Guardian Angel automatically locks the keys of a cell phone when the vehicle is traveling over a pre-determined speed. That speed can be adjusted and is said to greatly reduce the risk of drivers getting into accidents-especially those who will not slow down or pull over when adjusting GPS systems in their vehicle or on their phone.

Many argue that the idea of driving while distracted has come about by force of habit and by using technology to address the overusing of technology we can relinquish ourselves of those poor tendencies and become safer drivers in the process. While the full verdict is yet to be determined, the consensus remains-something drastic must be done.

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