Last month, Alexander Heit drifted into oncoming traffic after being distracted from the road. His sudden correction forced his vehicle to roll and flip over. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital shortly thereafter. All because of a freaking text message. He was only 22 years old.
Heit's life-shattering text message, never even sent, was recovered from the crash. The photo below is a harsh reminder to us all of what can happen when you drive and text.
Cell phone use is the leading factor for distracted driving accidents. In the United States alone, nearly 24,000 people are injured in cell phone related car accidents each year. 1,000 people die. In fact, texting while driving is now the leading cause of death for teen drivers.
While newer cars implement smartphone-compatible dashboards for hands-free driving, many people still lack safe wireless options—or any options. Sure, you can just leave the phone alone during your drive, but that's not very realistic, is it?
For those of you that need to check your smartphone while driving, but don't want to end up in a car accident, there's an app for that. Actually, there's a few.
If you have AT&T, there's DriveMode, which automatically responds to text and calls with an auto-reply message. Also, you can port over the Car Launcher app to your Samsung Galaxy Note 2, which has bigger buttons made specifically with driving in mind.
But what if you just want your messages read to you and that's it?
The feature can be enabled automatically whenever you connect to the Bluetooth in your car. If you don't have Bluetooth, you can also trigger it by turning on the speakerphone or plugging in your headphones.
What separates this app from others, like DriveSafe.ly, is its ability to properly decipher Internet jargon and other text messaging acronyms. If you're friend texts you:
- "ay wtf iz up wit dat",
It will be heard as:
- "Hey, what the fuck is up with that?"
If you and your friends use other slang words that the application can't decipher, you can add those words to the built-in dictionary and teach it to translate your nonsensical phrases into pristine English.
If you want to reply to text messages or have it read app notifications, you'll need to upgrade to the pro version, which will cost you about $3.
Hey, I'd rather spend a few dollars on an app than end up paying for the damage on my car.