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News Section: Community

Cellular Company Hopes App Cuts Down on Texting and Driving

Published Monday, June 9, 2014 12:03 am

BRADENTON -- As the dangers of texting while driving become increasingly prevalent on the roads, technologies like the Privus Mobile app step up and take the wheel, steering drivers toward a safer way to travel, without missing important phone calls or text messages that they may receive while driving.


The impact of cell phones on highway safety has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years as texting continues to gain favor with users. Studies have shown texting while driving to be comparable to driving under the influence of alcohol, and while statistics show that alcohol-related fatalities are on the decline, accidents in which cell phones are involved are on the rise, making up 23 percent of crashes in 2011, according to the NHSTA.


The federal agency says  that sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes off of the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. If you're driving at even 55 mph, that's equal to driving the length of an entire football field without seeing what's in front of you. Despite laws banning texting while driving in 43 states, surveys show that most drivers still admit to engaging in the dangerous practice. For this reason, many are looking to the industry to drive technologies that will help end it.


Based in Dallas, Privus Mobile has created an app with features like Caller ID, Text ID, Voice Cue and Caller Lookup that are designed to make driving a little safer for those of us with busy social lives. These features allow the app to audibly announce the name of the person calling or texting the driver, regardless of whether or not the number is in the driver’s contact list. With this feature, the driver can then decide if the call or text is important enough to pull over and respond, all without the danger of even glancing down at the phone.


Most of today’s smartphones have built-in “talk-to-text” features, which some people would argue is a good solution to the dangers of texting and driving. However, even with talk-to-text the driver has to look at the phone to press the button that turns on the microphone and activates the feature, select which contact to send the text to, proofread the result of the spoken text and press the send button. The Privus Mobile app eliminates the need to look down at the phone entirely, making it a much safer and more effective option.


Our society is becoming increasingly more dependent on technological devices. With the Privus Mobile app, the company hopes it can help drivers keep up with their fast-paced lives without the safety hazard of texting and driving.


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