We all know that texting and driving is very dangerous. Drivers should always stay focused on the road ahead of them. A very famous and successful plastic surgeon drove off a cliff in Malibu last year (2010) because he was texting while driving. The accident demonstrates the very real danger of texting while driving, an activity that has reportedly spiked in recent years.
“I hear, almost daily, accounts of people who are injured while texting,” said Dr. Angela Gardner, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians. Gardner said “It has stopped being an oddity when we hear that someone was texting and has a wreck. Now it’s more of a fairly common occurrence…While sending out a status update during a leisurely drive may seem innocuous, it only takes a moment for distracted drivers to become vulnerable.”
But occasionally situations occur when you are driving, and you need to send a text message, such as being stuck in traffic or you’re late for a meeting. Although we do not want to encourage texting while driving, here a couple apps that will make texting while driving safer:
Vlingo (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Nokia, free): Vlingo Virtual Assistant turn your words into action. Vlingo combines voice to text technology with its “intent engine” to help you quickly complete your desired action. Simply speak to your phone or type a command through the ActionBar to get just about anything done while on the go.
Upgrades that allow dictation of text messages and e-mails start at $6.99. With them, Vlingo lets a user dictate a text or Facebook update. (“Text Dad. Message I’ll be late for dinner tonight”).
Android users can turn on SafeReader so Vlingo automatically reads incoming messages aloud. Vlingo is in the process of launching InCar, making the whole process hands free, including telling the phone to send, but it’s only available on some Sprint phones so far.
MotoSpeak (Android): MotoSpeak will read out loud your text messages through the headset as they arrive, and if you upgrade to the full version you’ll get access to email and different voices. To listen to text messages and reply orally, it’ll require a phone that runs Android 2.2 and either the Motorola Roadster car speakerphone ($99.99) or Motorola earpieces Finiti or CommandOne ($129.99). When a text message arrives, the Bluetooth device will read it aloud and ask if the user wants to dictate a reply, no screen-touching required.
FieldLogix. For professional truck drivers, communicating while driving is a huge part of the job. A Fleet management system enables dispatchers to send and receive information through a driver’s GPS system, eliminating the need for text messaging on a cel phone. This helps to keep truck drivers safe and comply with State text messaging laws.
Text messaging has been the primary source of communication between truck drivers, dispatchers and fleet management for many years. Fleet management relies on text messaging to stay in touch with their drivers at all times. When rerouting drivers or changing job priorities or text messaging has been the quickest and cheapest method of communication. In order to comply with recent text messaging laws, and to encourage safer driving habits, many companies have integrated a GPS fleet tracking system.