Thursday, August 14, 2014

This free app could save your teen’s life (and yours)

Safecell 360

“Distracted Driving Kills” is not just a bumper-sticker slogan. SafeCell’s Scott Taylor notes that more than 3,000 teens die each year in crashes caused by texting while driving (TWD), making that partiucular species of distracted driving the leading cause of death for teenagers in America. As a concerned father of three, Taylor decided to tackle this behavioral epidemic head on with a new mobile app called SafeCell 360, which is being made available for free to all teenage drivers during the coming 2014/2015 school year.

It’s not only teenagers and mobile devices; distracted driving occurs in every driving demographic, and is any activity that diverts a driver’s attention away from his or her primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety, and include:
  • Texting
  • Talking (especially on cellphones, be they hand-held or hands-free; the increased risk is the same - 4x - for either)
  • Gaming (Duh!)
  • Browsing
  • Reading, including maps
  • Using navigation
  • Watching videos
Vehicle infotainment and nav system design engineers are, by and large, doing a terrible job and encouraging distracted driving, not least by substituting touchscreen control for systems where eyes-free analog switches and levers with their spatial and tactile feedback are a vastly superior and safer solution.
But because text messaging requires a combination of visual, manual and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming and lethal category of distracted driving, with drivers under the age of 20 making up the largest percentage of distracted drivers. TWD, as noted above, is now the leading cause of death among teenagers—surpassing drinking and driving—according to a study by Cohen Children’s Medical Center.
Other alarming findings from the report included:
  • More than 3,000 teens die each year in crashes caused by texting while driving
  • More than 50% of teens admit to texting while driving
  • “Independent surveys have shown that overall, 34% of teen texters ages 16-17 say they have texted while driving. That translates into 26% of all American teens ages 16-17.”
More Metrics:
  • When teen drivers ride with other passengers, their risk of big in a fatal car crash doubles. Overall, teenagers underestimate or are unable to recognize hazardous driving conditions
  • 12% of distracted drivers involved in fatal car accidents were teens age 15 to 19
  • 56% of teens admit to talking on cell phones while driving
  • 34% of teens age 16 and 17 admit that they send and respond to text messages while driving
  • 48% of kids age 12 to 17 report they have been in a car when the driver was texting
SafeCell 360 was launched four years ago by two friends dedicated to a common goal: to stop distracted driving. Scott Taylor says that as a father of three daughters, the potential for texting while driving always scared him when they drove. Together, the two developed a concept for a solution to this growing problem: SafeCell 360. Over the past four years, the partners have been further developing and refining what is now full suite of DWT-fighter apps—SafeCell 360 LTE, SafeCell 360 Consumer, and SafeCell Enterprise—to address the epidemic of distracted driving. The solution was designed for the individual, teenage drivers and company employees.
SafeCell 360 is a motion sensing App designed to work on both iPhone and Android smartphone platforms, and to fully integrate into Google’s extensive Location Based Services technology. It blocks and monitors all inbound and outbound SMS/text, phone and emails. The app provides parents the ability to limit the use of their teenage drivers access to their Android and  iPhone devices while driving, enabling parental access to the app’s suite of driver metrics via a dashboard user interface to monitor adherence to family or personal rules regarding cellphone usage, and to ensure driving rules are being followed. In the specific context of TWD, automated reports are sent to parents on their teenage drivers’ cell usage while driving and when and where possible violations occurred.
SafeCell 360 is designed to run in the background and monitor for motion. Once SafeCell 360 has determined that the device had met or exceeded the “Start Trip” speed, the application will automatically apply predefined limitations to the device. Each time the user attempts to initiate any interaction with the device, each instance is captured and recorded to the users account.
SafeCell 360 can also block and/or monitor Inbound and Outbound SMS/text, phone and emails. Once engaged, the application will not allow the user access to the application to send an SMS/text message, initiate an Outbound call or send/read an email (Android). SafeCell 360 will also block access to all applications installed on the device via the SafeCell 360 Kiosk functionality. (Android)
SafeCell 360 has been designed with the following inherent feature set:
  • Inbound/Outbound SMS/Text will be disabled
  • Inbound/Outbound Phone will be disabled
  • Block the use of all installed applications while driving
  • Automated in transit message
  • SafeCell 360 Tracking Screen
  • Automated alerts for No SMS/Text, Cellphone use and School Zones
  • Automated report of user violations
  • SMS/text to speech
  • Trip Start Speed will be set to 8 miles per hour
  • Trip Stop time will be set to 2 minutes
  • Ability to utilize Google Maps
  • 911 Emergency break away
  • 30 minute 911 re-engagement delay
  • Passenger trip deferment
  • Bluetooth enabled
  • Certified and tested to work across all carriers throughout the United States.
SafeCell 360 wants to provide a free license to every high school age driver in the United States who takes the pledge. They want to work with as many Independent School Districts (ISDs) as possible to raise awareness to this growing issue, having teens pledge not to SMS/text, email, phone and access the Internet while driving by offering our solution for free for the 2014/2015 school year.
SafeCell 360 will begin to reach out to and work with ISDs a to implement the No Texting while driving program and bring additional sponsors on board to the program to offer full range of incentives for the teens to participate in the programs.
The Kickstarter funding they are seeking will provide SafeCell 360 the ability to reach out to as many ISDs as possible across the country—eventually in your area—to develop these programs and provide the SafeCell 360 solution to your teenage drivers for free, possibly saving them and others from being involved in a life altering accident.
See more of SafeCell360 and the free offer to High School drivers across America at their Kickstarter page. You can also visit the SafeCell website for more information on SafeCell 360 Distracted Driving solutions.
Additional materials:
More distracted driving resources: