Distracted driving is not only dangerous, but deadly. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 16% of fatal crashes in 2008 were caused by driver distraction resulting in 5,800 deaths and 515,000 injuries. With the increasing prevalence of smartphones, texting while driving has become a true epidemic. The American Automobile Association has even found that nearly 50% of teens admit to texting while driving…and those are just the ones who admit to the dangerous activity.
While a number of states, including Michigan, have passed laws banning texting while driving, the issue of texting and distracted driving in general is still quite widespread. To help stop drivers, and teens especially, from texting while driving, developers have created Vehawk, a smartphone application designed to track cell phone usage while driving. When detected, the app will send a notification to the account holder, most likely a parent, providing information on each text or call made during a particular trip with detailed maps of the route.
Created by Dr. Chad Carman, an ER physician, and Kip Carman, an IT professional, Vehawk is currently in testing and available for Android phones with an iPhone app also in development. “We believe that passing laws is not enough to effectively limit distracted driving. Vehawk has all the potential to save countless lives from this tragic national epidemic,” Dr. Chad Carman said in a statement.
Whether or not this particular app is a success, the need to limit distracted driving is an obvious issue and one that cannot ignored. Visit the FCC’s Distracted Driving Information Clearinghouse to learn more about organizations working to inform drivers on the dangers of distracted driving and additional advancements being made to help end the epidemic.