“Don’t text and drive” has become so common a message in our smartphone-obsessed era that too often, it seems to go ignored. Indeed, when an insurance agency filmed 20 minutes of rush hour traffic in Florida, they found that eight percent of drivers were attempting to multitask in the car, mostly involving their mobile devices. But now, there may be a new way to stop drivers from pursuing their distractions — at least, the palm-sized ones. A new app from Romex employs a smartphone’s GPS system to detect the speed at which it’s moving, and if that speed is faster than four miles per hour, it locks the device.
The result is that if your phone appears to be traveling faster than (generally) possible on human legs alone, the app would disable the screen, making it impossible for you to respond to calls, texts, emails, social media, and everything else that may come with mobile territory. Don’t worry — if you’re a passenger, you can set the app to a different mode so that you’re not subjected to a long road trip sans phone access.
Already, Romex offers its app to corporations who want to ensure that their drivers aren’t using their phones while on the road, but it may soon come out with a more general version as well.
“We are approaching younger drivers because they are the ones likely to be glued to their phones,” Steve Arscott, sales director of Romex, told Auto Express. In addition to the locked phone function, this new version of the app would also integrate with another app called Guardian, which parents can use to keep tabs on where their children are driving and how quickly they’re getting there.
According to Arscott, the new app would cost money to download, but could save drivers a ton when it comes to safety. And also, perhaps, on insurance. “We are looking for insurance partners at the moment,” the sales director added. “One good incentive for a young driver to have it on their phone is they would get a rebate on their insurance policy.”
So if you’re looking for a way to ensure that getting distracted by your mobile device isn’t even an option, this may be a good concept to keep in mind. Or, of course, you could just turn off your phone.