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Transportation Cellphones

Distracted Driving: All Lip Service With No Legit Solution 184

Posted by Soulskill
from the problems-we-don't-really-want-to-solve dept.
redletterdave writes: "April was National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Unfortunately, the recognition of this month for distracted driving was a hollow gesture — just like the half-hearted attempts at developing apps that prevent cell phone use while driving. After a week of trying to find an app that prevents me from all cell phone use from behind the wheel entirely, I've given up. The Distracted Driving Foundation lists about 25 apps on its website — there are a few more on Apple's App Store — but I couldn't find a single one that was easy to use. Most were either defunct, required onerous sign-up processes, asked for subscription plans, or simply didn't work as advertised."
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Distracted Driving: All Lip Service With No Legit Solution

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  • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @03:54PM (#46883847)

    You press and hold it and the phone turns off.

    It's free.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @04:04PM (#46883969)

      Or folks get over the bug-a-boo that is 'distracted driving' as being the fault of cell phones.

      Hi, I live in Kansas City, Missouri.

      Are you an adult? AKA at least 18 years old?

      You're allowed to ride your bicycle without a helmet.

      You're also allowed to text, make phone calls, do whatever on your whatever in your whatever while you go from wherever to wherever.

      You're also allowed to be pulled over for reckless driving if you're doing any of these things, or eating a burger in one hand and drinking a big-gulp in the other, or spending more time screaming over your shoulder at your kids in the back seat tha paying attention to the road.

      But if you're just cruising down a mostly empty road and checking asking what you were supposed to pick up at Burger King? Have a nice day.

      But if, heaven help you, you get in an accident and they prove you were on your cell phone? Good luck not being found at fault.

      I'd rather get busted if I fuck up, and be able to be pulled over if I'm unsafe in the eyes of the officer, than have a zero-tolerance nanny policy akin to getting expelled from high school because a kitchen knife fell out of a box you were moving over the weekend and got stuck in your pickup truck bed and you didn't notice it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mark-t (151149)
        The reality is that we live in a world of people who either cannot or will not objectively decide that an action might be unsafe for them at any given instant, and, regrettably, many of these so-called adults have drivers' licenses. What you suggest is ideal, but in a world that has more than enough of its share of people who are either too lazy or too immature to be bothered with trying to behave responsibly, even if they might be endangering themselves in the process, not catering to the lowest common de
      • by rnturn (11092) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @07:45PM (#46885751)

        ``You're allowed to ride your bicycle without a helmet. You're also allowed to text, make phone calls, do whatever on your whatever in your whatever while you go from wherever to wherever.''

        If I ride my bike without a helmet I am the one who is at risk. If I'm stupid enough to be screwing around with a cellphone while I'm driving, I'm putting everyone in the car with me at risk along with everyone unlucky enough to be within range of the car as it travels along while I'm no longer fully in control of it.

        Put your phone away while you're driving and stop spouting BS that you have some Constitutional right to text while you drive.

      • by crazyvas (853396) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @04:24AM (#46887449)

        Stop spinning this as a personal responsibility/freedom issue. That's complete BS. The real issue at stake is the freedom of other people to exist, and to exist without injury caused by your stupidity.

        I'd rather you get busted if you fuck up too, but instead, what will likely happen when you fuck up is, someone will lose an arm or leg...or a life. Stop thinking about whether you will be "found at fault," and start thinking about someone losing their life or limb, because that is the consequence of relevance here.

    • by JustinOpinion (1246824) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @04:31PM (#46884255)
      You're of course correct. (As are the many other replies that amount to: "Just don't use the phone while driving, dummy!")

      However, it's worth keeping in mind how the human mind works; in particular its limitations. Our minds and behaviours are inherently flawed. Part of being a smart and responsible person is not just modulating your behaviour, but also designing your life so as to elicit the right kinds of outcomes. A simple example is putting an item that you want to bring with you tomorrow by the door. You could "Just remember to grab it when you leave tomorrow morning!", but you're accounting for your own fallible memory by putting it by the door while you're thinking of it. Another example would be a person who puts a tempting snack on an inaccessible shelf: they buy the snack because they want to have a treat sometimes, but they purposefully make it slightly inconvenient for themselves to eat the snack, so that they don't just reflexively eat it all the time. It's part of a strategy to invoke more rational thinking, rather than just let your immediate impulses win.

      There are many more examples of such behaviour. Obviously it's "better" to simply have infinite willpower and rationality; but for people who do not (and if we're being honest, this describes all of us; though our individual temptations and biases are different), it can be useful to design your life to account for your fallibility.

      So, in principle a cellphone app that disables the phone while driving can be useful. It's for people who recognize that it's a really bad idea to use your phone while driving, and yet are so addicted to their phone that they cannot avoid answering it when it rings. (Or are so addicted to status updates that they will absentmindedly check when bored, even if they are driving!) These people may also not have the discipline (or memory) to (for instance) always put the phone in the trunk before getting behind the wheel. For those people, such an app can be useful.

      Having said all that, I think it's unrealistic to expect an app to properly differentiate between the situations where you would want the phone disabled (while driving) and those where you don't (parked, passenger in a car, etc.). So I think the question-poster should instead investigate other ways to modulate their own behaviour (e.g. put a holder in the car, in a very visible location, that says "PHONE BATTERY GOES HERE", and always pull out the battery before turning on the car).
      • by Kjella (173770)

        So I think the question-poster should instead investigate other ways to modulate their own behaviour (e.g. put a holder in the car, in a very visible location, that says "PHONE BATTERY GOES HERE", and always pull out the battery before turning on the car).

        So what percentage of cell phone users does that actually work for these days?

      • I never forget to not answer the phone when I don't want to answer the phone. Answering the phone is not something I do without thinking, much like driving. I can't conceive of what kind of person would just answer the phone simply because it's ringing.

        The only purpose of this app would be to inflict my opinions on other people. You come to a website, get ready to read my nonsense, but you shouldn't have to put up with it if you want to avoid it. The same goes for cell phone bans. I've been driving >20 y

        • by mark-t (151149)
          They are putting other lives at risk. That's the real problem
        • by nabsltd (1313397)

          My conclusion is that there are people who cannot drive and talk at the same time, and those people should choose not to do so.

          I've never seen anyone with a cell phone in their hand who didn't drastically alter their driving style as soon as the phone went into their hand. I've also never seen any one of those people who realized that their behavior changed.

          I suspect that you need to "choose not to do so", as well.

      • by Bob9113 (14996)

        However, it's worth keeping in mind how the human mind works; in particular its limitations. Our minds and behaviours are inherently flawed. Part of being a smart and responsible person is not just modulating your behaviour, but also designing your life so as to elicit the right kinds of outcomes. A simple example is putting an item that you want to bring with you tomorrow by the door. You could "Just remember to grab it when you leave tomorrow morning!" ... So, in principle a cellphone app that disables th

      • That would wear out my case- and probably the battery cover.

        Some other simpler methods that won't wear out the phone include:

        1) Put the phone in airplane mode while driving.
        2) Turn the sound AND vibration off. Put the phone face down so you can't see it.

        I'm serious- I know some people have a serious problem with the cell phone and I'm trying to help and not be snarky.

        • 1) Put the phone in airplane mode while driving.
          2) Turn the sound AND vibration off. Put the phone face down so you can't see it.

          3) Install a cigarette lighter plug in the trunk. Before getting in the car, turn the phone off and plug it in in the trunk. When you get to work, you're alive and as a bonus, your phone is fully charged.

      • I do agree that an individual needs to find their own coping strategies for overcoming their problems, but there is another option. If you find that you are searching for a seemingly complex solution to a habit which causes you to drive dangerously: hang up your keys. You're a murderer in disguise every time you pick them up.

    • by CityZen (464761)

      And your teenage driver will certainly follow this advice, just like he/she followed every other piece of useful advice you have offered.

      • But the problem wasn't stated as, "my teenager is using the phone".

        Clearly, you are expanding scope.

        So I'm either going to need more money, more resources, or more time to solve the problem.

    • by rnturn (11092)

      Bingo.

      The same "technology" that allowed you to avoid wasting money on screensaver software in the 80s and 90s.

  • by jdavidb (449077) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @03:56PM (#46883875) Homepage Journal

    After a week of trying to find an app that prevents me from all cell phone use from behind the wheel entirely

    Maybe my perspective is limited because I still have a dumb phone, but it strikes me that maybe the problem is that you are trying to solve this problem with the wrong tool.

    • by Jason Levine (196982) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @04:15PM (#46884107)

      Exactly! If you use the right tool, you can solve this instantly. Take a hammer and use it on your phone. Then you won't be able to use it while driving. What's that you say? You can't use it when you're not driving either now? That's a bug that we hope to have fixed in Hammer 2.0.

    • After a week of trying to find an app that prevents me from all cell phone use from behind the wheel entirely

      Maybe my perspective is limited because I still have a dumb phone, but it strikes me that maybe the problem is that you are trying to solve this problem with the wrong tool.

      I would say that if a person cannot figure out the solution on their own, they are a tool.

    • by timeOday (582209)

      maybe the problem is that you are trying to solve this problem with the wrong tool.

      Obviously. And probably 99% of the messages to follow will just rant about the stupidity of thinking an app will fix this. Which leaves the actual issue of distracted driving unresolved. Most of the other 1% of posts will amount to "Just Say No," which is also a proposal to do nothing about it.

      It would be better to propose some constructive measures.

      Personally I think we need to re-visit the evidence on specific type

      • by suutar (1860506)

        Well, if the driver commutes on a sufficiently regular basis, and is always the driver, then an app that silences the ringer, stops vibration, and keeps the screen from waking up during the right time would probably do the trick. Allow an override in case of emergency - if the phone power cycles, when it comes up the restrictions are off til the next time rolls around.

        But it's probably simpler to just put the phone in the glove box.

    • I have a smart phone and the first thing that happens before it goes in my pocket, before getting on the road, is that it is switched to silent and ignored completely. Don't consider your perspective limited, maybe you still care about people enough not to be a potential murderer.

  • by sweBers (2469450) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @03:58PM (#46883897)
    I spent my whole drive to work looking for apps to prevent me from using my phone. I gave up after parking my car.
    • I gave up after parking my car.

      I was too busy looking for the app and just left mine in drive. I gave up after tripping over the curb.

  • by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @03:59PM (#46883905)

    Seriously, does it really require an app to either:

    A) Not answer?

    B) Turn the phone off?

    Well, if you can't handle either of the above, I suggest putting your phone in the trunk.

    And if that doesn't work, set the phone on the ground just behind one tire of your car, get in the car, and back up ten feet....

    • And if that doesn't work, set the phone on the ground just behind one tire of your car, get in the car, and back up ten feet....

      And if that doesn't work, put your head on the ground just behind one tire of your car, get in the car, and back up ten feet....

  • by pthisis (27352) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @03:59PM (#46883909) Homepage Journal

    Either:
    1) You want to use the phone while driving, in which case you're not going to use such an app; or
    2) You don't want to use the phone while driving, in which case you can simply not use the phone.

  • My app (Score:5, Funny)

    by sandytaru (1158959) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @04:01PM (#46883925) Journal
    It's called the iPurse. I keep my phone inside it when I'm in the vehicle. As long as you don't undo the zipper, the cell phone cannot be used while driving. They also have more masculine variations known as the iManBag that even have special slots to hold the phone.
  • by rubycodez (864176) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @04:04PM (#46883975)

    I'll have to check those out on the drive home

  • There's a simple app to eliminate cel phone use while driving. It comes standard on every model of cel phone I know of, requires no sign-up and has a dead-simple user interface.

    The app? The "silent" mode.

  • Clearly the author is not correctly attributing the source of the problem.
  • How is an app supposed to know that you're driving and not the passenger in a car? Also, as everybody else noted: every single cellphone has a silent feature. There's no need for an app.

    In fact an app that has a subscription service to simply not use the phone while driving? That's bordering on fraud.
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @04:30PM (#46884249) Journal
    It doesn't seem like a huge surprise that this space is currently a howling wasteland:

    Most people who actually want such a service can just tap 'mute' or their platform equivalent when the dump their phone in the beverage holder and start up the car. They aren't going to be terribly good customers, unless you do something really clever, and people who do really clever things are probably focused on sexier, or at least more lucrative, segments.

    The people who really don't want such a service aren't good customers; but their worried parents might be; but any software sold for that purpose is likely to be folded into some relatively expensive, subscription based, offspring-command-and-control suite, and thus notably hostile and overengineered for an individual just trying to automate muting his own phone.

    It likely doesn't help that laws regulating what you can do in your car aren't all that popular, so there isn't much incentive for carriers or platform vendors to roll out nannyware voluntarily; but, if there were a shift in the wind, they would be overwhelmingly better placed than 3rd-party vendors to take advantage of their deep control of the platform and full access to all sensor data and crush the entire market, such as it is, with a single OS update. Game over man, game over.

    Under those circumstances, why even bother?
  • It's a free App that AT&T has. When you enable it and someone calls or sends you a text while driving (it uses the phone's GPS to detect movement) the phone will not ring and it will send a text to the caller telling them that you're driving right now and I'll call you later. Pretty slick.

    But, seriously, just ignore the thing when it rings.

    For many people, though, that might be nearly impossible. These phones have us trained like Pavlov's dog. Spolier alert - you're not that important. I'm not that impo

  • I don't understand why you need an app. Can't you just ignore the phone while you're driving? I have no trouble doing this. I regularly have to sit in meetings that last one or two hours where I ignore my phone. That's far longer than the amount of time I have to spend in my car. If you can't ignore your phone for awhile, perhaps what you need is a psychiatrist, and not an app.

  • There seems to be very little enforcement in general. I see tons of people acting/driving in unsafe manners within plain sight of police vehicles, this includes
    * Cellular phone use
    * Tailgating
    * Crossing against the signal (for pedestrians: I add this because just the other day, some dude did this right in front of a police car. The cop slowed down for him and then continued on)
    * Unsafe passing
    * etc

    The only time I see somebody getting nailed seems to be either:
    a) A road-check
    b) Speed at high rates past a rad

  • by tlhIngan (30335) <.slashdot. .at. .worf.net.> on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @05:03PM (#46884541)

    Perhaps the best solution is just rethink transportation, period.

    Take Europe, for example. You can call the drivers there "crazy" because they run red lights, lane markings are a suggestion (you can easily fit 4 lanes of traffic in a marked 2-lane road), park practically anywhere and everywhere, etc., but then you realize - these drivers are *GOOD*.

    I mean, in North America, parallel parking spots are huge - we leave huge gaps between cars. While in Europe, they leave only inches between vehicles. And you'd think down a single lane alleyway with cars parked on both sides that you'd have a bunch of cars with dings and dents, but no. The cars are generally pristine, and the drivers are quite good.

    And they're texting and driving.

    How? Easy. European drivers drive because they want to. Public transit means if you don't want to drive to commute, you don't.

    In North America, the problem is that cities are laid out for cars, so you have to drive, even if you don't want to. And lots of people don't want to drive. Instead they want to be doing other things, so not only is the general skill level of drivers low, they're not interested in driving at all.

    Hence the need to re-think transportation in North America because a good majority of people are doing something they don't want to do. In fact, it'll be better on all sides - if the disinterested drivers had usable alternate means of transport, it leaves the roads free for those who do want to drive, enhancing life for everyone concerned.

    That's the fundamental problem. In Europe, they drive because they want to drive. In North America, everyone's forced to drive.

    • That is the most coherent argument for public transportation Hogwarts has seen these many years.

    • by mjwx (966435) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @09:06PM (#46886137)

      Take Europe, for example. You can call the drivers there "crazy" because they run red lights, lane markings are a suggestion (you can easily fit 4 lanes of traffic in a marked 2-lane road), park practically anywhere and everywhere,

      Point in short, GP has never been to Europe, let alone driven there.

      Breaking the law in Germany is inconceivable to Germans and will get a swift response from the AutobahnPolizei. The British dont tolerate people doing stupid things either, the Met will pull you over just to check if you've got the right permits and have paid congestion tax. Even the French will send the gendarme after you for doing the things that the GP suggested. Western Europe, Germany in particular are wonderful places to drive precisely because everyone follows the rules. People are for the most part predictable and polite, because of this predictability and lack of motorist masochism traffic flows much better... as for finding somewhere to park in Euro cities and town... Good Fucking Luck, you've clearly never been there.

      Crossing the road when the "no cross" sign is on in Germany will get you death stares from Germans.

      I've driven in the UK, Sweden and Germany as well as the US and Australia. The Europeans are far better drivers than we Australians because they follow the rules and thus are predictable drivers... however US drivers make the worst Australian drivers look good. However one of the big problems in the US (that's also growing in Australia) is the fact everyone drives automatics. These are much slower than manuals and breed more complacent drivers.

  • Obligatory (Score:5, Funny)

    by maz2331 (1104901) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @05:08PM (#46884573)

    Your post advocates a

    (x) technical ( ) legislative ( ) market-based ( ) vigilante

    approach to fighting distracted driving. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work.
    (One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may have other flaws
    which used to vary from state to state before a bad federal law was passed.)

    (x) It blocks calling the cops on other drivers who pose a real threat
    (x) Telling a passenger from a driver isn't possible
    ( ) No one will be able to find the guy or collect the money
    (x) It is defenseless against brute force attacks
    ( ) It will stop distractions for two weeks and then we'll be stuck with it
    ( ) Users of phones will not put up with it
    ( ) Google & Apple will not put up with it
    ( ) The police will not put up with it
    (x) Requires too much cooperation from drivers
    ( ) Requires immediate total cooperation from everybody at once
    ( ) Many users cannot afford to lose business or alienate potential employers
    ( ) Drivers don't care about crashing
    ( ) Anyone could anonymously destroy anyone else's career or business

    Specifically, your plan fails to account for

    ( ) Laws expressly prohibiting it
    ( ) Lack of centrally controlling authority
    (x) Affecting non-drivers
    (x) Asshats
    ( ) Jurisdictional problems
    (x) Other forms of distraction that are even more dangerous
    ( ) Unpopularity of weird new laws
    ( ) Public reluctance to accept weird new forms of money
    (x) Willingness of users to install inconvencing apps
    (x) Bluetooth tethering to the car's audio for handsfree use
    ( ) Technically illiterate politicians
    (x) Extreme stupidity on the part of people who text while driving
    (x) Dishonesty on the part of drivers themselves
    ( ) Bandwidth costs that are unaffected by client filtering
    (x) Using a power button works better

    and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

    (x) Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none have ever
    been shown practical
    ( ) Any scheme based on opt-out is unacceptable
    ( ) Phone use should not be the subject of legislation
    ( ) Blacklists suck
    ( ) Whitelists suck
    ( ) We should be able to drive however we want
    ( ) Countermeasures should not involve wire fraud or credit card fraud
    ( ) Countermeasures should not involve sabotage of public networks
    ( ) Countermeasures must work if phased in gradually
    ( ) Why should we have to trust you and your servers?
    ( ) Incompatibility with open source or open source licenses
    (x) Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem
    ( ) I don't want the government tracking my phone
    ( ) Killing them that way is not slow and painful enough

    Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

    (x) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work.
    ( ) This is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid person for suggesting it.
    ( ) Nice try, assh0le! I'm going to find out where you live and burn your
    house down!

  • Drive. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ledow (319597) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @05:16PM (#46884649) Homepage

    I can't express how relieved I am at the majority of responses here. Most of the comments on anything that suggest people should drive the damn car and not do other things, or stay under the speed limit, or otherwise drive safely are other leapt upon like some kind of weakness is present in those expressing them.

    It's quite refreshing to see the majority of people say exactly what I was thinking - drive the fucking car, ignore the fucking phone. If you can't trust yourself, turn the fucking phone off.

    Stop relying on computers and fucking apps to limit your own, personal, adult, behaviour. Like those people who rely on the Amazon Fire's "time limits" for their kids, or similar methods of parental control, it just makes me think that you're too stupid to be allowed to use those devices / have a kid / drive a car in the first place.

    I'm the only person I know who will not answer a phone in a moving car. I actually have difficulty EXPLAINING to people why that is. They are incredulous and don't understand it. And they still ring me while I'm driving to meet them. How hard is it? I do not answer the phone while driving, nor will I phone to tell you I'm late unless I'm literally at a complete stop AND am late enough that you need to know.

    I do use my phone as a sat-nav. It's not in my line-of-sight, even, it's down by the gearstick. I don't need to look at it (especially with turn-by-turn voice) unless I've stopped and am looking for the particular house I need - I can always just keep driving, turn around, go around the block or circle a roundabout if I miss a turning.

    I do not answer it while driving. Anything that might be important, you'll ring back. Anything that is important will be enough to bother me and that will make me pull over and give my attention to your message. And if I find out that you've done that knowing I'm driving just to "see where I am", you'll be put on a silent ringtone on my phone forever more.

    The phone is already the rudest device in human existence (ANSWER ME NOW, ANSWER ME NOW, ANSWER ME NOW, I'LL KEEP RINGING UNTIL YOU ANSWER ME NOW, I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU'RE DOING ANSWER ME NOW!). It's fast becoming the most dangerous device because of idiots like you.

    Drive the fucking car. Switch the phone off. Enjoy the silence, or your music, and a legally-prescribed requirement to be excused from ignoring all those work calls that inevitably happen just as you leave.

    NO PHONE CALL / EMAIL / TEXT is that important. If you're mother's dead in hospital, people will call back, and it will never be an emergency that requires your presence at the expense of every innocent driver and passenger on the road.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      It's quite refreshing to see the majority of people say exactly what I was thinking - drive the fucking car, ignore the fucking phone. If you can't trust yourself, turn the fucking phone off.

      I don't trust you. But I trust myself to receive a phone call on speaker because I know from experience that I will ignore the person on the other end of the phone when necessary. I've done it before, and I will do it again.

      Enjoy the silence, or your music, and a legally-prescribed requirement

      To use my various hands-free solutions? Will do.

  • Drive a motorcycle. You'll either be driving, or you'll be dead. I promise you won't be texting (for very long)!

    • by Z00L00K (682162)

      Or put the phone in the trunk. If you have a handsfree system you might be able to answer it.

      But a side problem is that most roads today are pretty boring, and that's the main cause for distracting activities.

      • by Virtucon (127420)

        But a side problem is that most roads today are pretty boring, and that's the main cause for distracting activities.

        I'd argue that with cell phone abusing drivers the roads are exciting and not in a good way.

  • Replace the airbag with a spike. If you get in an accident, you get a spike directly in the face. I bet you'll pay a LOT more attention to what's going on around you, then!
  • An app that would disable the phone if it's moving at more than 20 KM/H.

    • An app that would disable the phone if it's moving at more than 20 KM/H.

      How does the app know you are driving in contrast to being a passenger?

      I would rather most of my passengers talk on a phone than insist
      that I pay attention to them while I am driving. Some exceptions
      are the rare individual that can read a map and give directions.
      So rare I bought a GPS nav device.

  • Not a tech problem, not a tech solution.

    Just check your phone when you've arrived or pull over into a parking lot if you're that desperate. Seriously, how hard is that?

  • Motorola has an Assist app that detects when you are in motion. If enabled and a call comes in, it will identify the caller and ask you if you want to ignore it. You reply verbally. If you say "ignore," it will ask if you want to send a text "I'm driving I'll call later" (something like that) or have you create a message. Also, you can have it read text messages as they arrive. If you aren't the driver, you can simply turn it off. I find it to be a nice compromise between a nanny app and nothing.
  • by sootman (158191) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @06:49PM (#46885415) Homepage Journal

    1) Set phone to "silent".
    2) Put it on the passenger seat, face down.
    3) There is no step 3! (Except for "have an ounce of willpower to not pick it up and check Twitter at every light.")

    If you MUST see SOME info -- eg., calls from important people, just skip to step 3.

    Optional: on an iPhone with iOS 7, swipe up and press the moon icon for "Do not disturb." Exceptions can be configured in Settings. [apple.com] I'm guessing Android has, or will soon have, something similar.

    But if you want the phone to read your mind -- "don't alert me unless it's *really* important" -- then Step 1 is "Invent A.I."

  • by Barlo_Mung_42 (411228) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @07:21PM (#46885589) Homepage

    I have my phone set to automatically go into driving mode when I get in my care with the option set txt the caller/texter that I'm driving and will get back to them. No distractions and it works well.

  • The *real* solution is in beta by Google right now. The self driving car.

    This country is so big that mass transit will never cover more than a small fraction of the nation. Commuting is a boring chore, and many folks like myself welcome the day when we can do what we want to be doing rather than driving.

  • Distracted Driving is a symptom of people being too self-absorbed. We're less civil to one another, less courteous and more self-righteous than ever before. That results in behavior that's just "fuck everybody else." The people who feel that they're not creating a problem while texting or being pre-occupied with a conversation or dialing really don't give a shit about everybody around them. I mean we all have airbags right? What's the problem? My call / text is more important than your puny life and w

  • The perception of the problem is bass-ackwards. It's not the Distracted part of Distracted Driving that is the issue, it's the Driving part. Personally I HATE driving especially in large cities. Give me fast clean public transport and I'm happy as a distracted clam.

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