By: Mike Margolis (Hofstra University)
Driving along today into the office, I got a quick text from my friend asking me something about a group project. I read it, and I responded to it, because in my head I had to at that second. I’ve done this many times, and I don’t know a single person in the world who hasn’t. We all know it’s not the greatest practice ever, but I never really realized how bad it was until I picked up the New York Times yesterday. According to a study just completed, texting and driving is 23 times worse than drinking and driving. Just reading an email or text, is 9 times more dangerous than drinking and driving, and answering a call is 4 times more dangerous.
In today’s fast paced, instant satisfaction lifestyle, texting and driving has become commonplace. I mean, imagine how unsafe you felt when you got in the car with your baby sister driving for the first time, and multiply that over ten-fold! Scary. We all don’t want to do it, but view it as a need. But what if there was some way to keep our phones on, yet have access restricted?
Leave it to Steve Jobs, of course. Well, not directly, but Apple has come out with its newest iPhone app line, which includes iZup, tXtBlocker, CellSafety, and ZoomSafer. What these applications do is sense when the phone is in a car and moving, which is detected through the GPS in the phone (when going 5-10mph), and it locks up not only texting and email, but phone calls as well. The phone screen will read “MESSAGES BLOCKED” and all calls will go strait to voicemail. In addition, all texts (and bbms) will appear like they were not delivered, as to not get you in trouble with your girlfriend(s). Is this a scary proposition? Of course it is, but with daunting numbers as stated before, it’s not only a matter of personal safety, but for the others around driving (as most are in the greater NY area). For those of us who are always on the go and can’t leave their phone alone for five minutes, it would be a good practice to at least try for a few days.