The Department of Transport in Iowa has decided to help parents keep their teens safer while driving. They are commissioning work to develop a new app that parents can download to their teens’ phones. It’s to be called TXTL8R and, as you might guess, it cuts off the phone once the app detects the vehicle is traveling at more than 15 mph. Driver safety is a reasonably high priority in Iowa and, in 2013, the risk of a crash while texting was 23 times greater. There were 679 traffic crashes in which texting was a factor.
At the last count, forty-one states and the District of Columbia now ban text messaging when driving. This reflects the very real risks of traffic crashes when one of the drivers is texting. Since young and inexperienced drivers are the most likely to crash, it’s for parents to insist this app is downloaded. Of course, there’s nothing to prevent a teen from borrowing the phone of a passenger, but the app does reduce the risk a little.