A new app called Text No More has been released with the goal of stopping people from texting on their cell phones while driving, thus hopefully saving lives. It is not the only app that offers a means to prevent texting and driving, but it does have a catch that the others do not. When the app is active, users that are texted will not receive the text. Instead they will receive a coupon from a sponsor as a reward for using the app, which essentially rewards the user for obeying the laws by not answering text messages while driving.
As technology continues to expand into previously unthought-of directions, the consequences for the progression begin to unfold, sometimes with tragic results. The act of texting while on a cell phone, something that was an obscurity five years ago, has become so prevalent, especially among teens, that a recent Nielsen report concluded that cell phone users under the age of 18 text more than four times more than they talk on their phones. Unfortunately the dangers of texting tend to be ignored, especially among teenagers, who have shown an affinity for disregarding the laws prohibiting texting while driving, but it is not just teenagers.
Texting while driving has become a universal issue, as evidenced by the recent death of Dr. Frank Ryan, 50, the plastic surgeon famous for operating on Hollywood stars, including The Hills’ Heidi Montag. Ryan recently died while driving to his home in Malibu. His ex-girlfriend claims that he was texting while driving, which caused him to miss a corner he had driven through many times, sending his car off a cliff.
“It is such a simple thing, but it really could save lives.” Text No More creator Rodney Stearns said. “As a father it terrifies me to think how preventable some of these deaths could have been.”
Other apps have also tried to encourage drivers to use them while driving to avoid the easily preventable distraction that has caused deaths, accidents, and even train wrecks. But most of them do not offer a benefit to use, and so most users are not inclined to use the app. With Text No More, the app rewards people for using it by offering them coupons and discounts with sponsors.
Simply turn the app on while driving, and when a text comes in, it will be held until the pre-selected time limit expires, or the app is turned off. For each text that was blocked, the user will receive a coupon for things like 50-percent off a haircut, 25-percent off clothing, food discounts and more. Users can also accrue minutes and save towards larger rewards, such as an iPhone, laptops and airline tickets.
“One of the coolest things about our app is that you don’t even need to download it to receive the benefit,” Stearns said.
People with smartphones that send texts to Text No More users will receive a message “person A is driving and cannot reply”, then the sender will also receive a coupon, regardless of whether or not they have the app. Future versions of the app will also integrate GPS tracking, in order to tailor the incoming rewards to the user’s current location.
A free version of the app is available to download at the company’s website, textnomore.com, which function the same, but users do not accrue points towards larger rewards. The full version costs $2.99, with $.25 of each sale going towards organizations benefiting the families of victims that died while texting and driving. All major smartphone providers are supported.