New Device Disables Texting and Driving

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Patriot Ledger Photo
Patriot Ledger Photo

Are you a safe driver? Surprisingly a new survey found that 99 percent of Americans consider themselves safe drivers, according to a survey by Ford Motor Co.

Keep in mind these are the people who share the road with you. While claiming to be safe drivers, those same people admitted to eating while driving (76 percent); exceeding speed limits (55 percent); talking on a hand-held mobile device (54 percent); and searching for contacts in their phone while driving (25 percent).

Thirty-seven percent of respondents said they drove when they were too tired.

Anything that can make us better drivers is worth looking into, and Sprint is offering a new technology that aims to do just that by disabling your phone’s texting capabilities while driving.

Sprint’s OBD2 (On Board Diagnostic 2) device that works with its M2M network is equipped with a variety of solutions to keep drivers safe, but the no-texting option should be popular with parents of teens and also the many, many people who just can’t fight the temptation to check their phone at every ping of a text message.

It should be obvious that distracted driving is a growing problem in the United States, especially among teens. Traffic fatalities among 16- and 17-year-old drivers jumped by a whopping 19 percent during the first six months of 2012, according to preliminary data compiled by the Governors Highway Safety Administration.

Texting while behind the wheel has overtaken drinking and driving as the biggest cause of death among teenagers in America.

Sprint is one of the first companies to deliver text disablement as part of user-based insurance products, and it’s being heavily marketing to teen drivers and their parents. But, don’t many more of us need it, too?

The device is simple to install; it should take less than a minute. Just plug the OBD2 device in under the dash on the passenger side of the car, and it will start recording vehicle data and offering maintenance alerts.

OBD systems are standard on most cars and light trucks today. The newest standard, OBD2, was introduced in the mid-’90s and provides almost complete control and monitoring of engine functions while also monitoring parts of the chassis, body and accessory devices, as well as the diagnostic control network of the car.

Best of all, OBD2 devices are available to consumers from their insurance companies. Just ask, if it’s right for you.