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Monday, February 13, 2012
New App Allows Businesses To Prevent Distracted Driving While Promoting Their Services
Timothy Cody of Manasquan NJ was driving through a traffic circle one day when a woman driving an SUV while talking on a cell phone almost drove him off the road. As he was turning to get back on the road, he heard a public service announcement on the dangers of texting while driving. He thought "There's got to be some way to stop this" and the idea for a new app was born.
The result was the Drive Alive App. While there are quite a few apps available that shut off a driver's cell phone while the car is in motion, this is the first app that depends on the driver’s promise to refrain from using a cell phone while driving and provides tangible rewards to the driver for doing so. Here's how it works. Once a driver downloads the app, he or she turns on the app before beginning to drive. While driving, the app uses the phone's GPS to determine that the vehicle is in motion. At the same time, the app keeps track of any use of the cell phone, whether it is calling, texting, or using other apps. Once the trip is completed, the driver closes the app. The app then sends the data to Drive Alive's secure data base. If, during any portion of the trip, the phone is activated for any reason while the vehicle is in motion, that particular trip is cancelled and the user loses any credit for that trip.
If the driver refrained from using the phone while driving, he or she qualifies for rewards such as discounted meals, half price beauty salon treatments or gift cards. Most popular of all is a cash reward, delivered directly to the user's Paypal account. The driver can also track their progress against others on a leader board to see how many rewards they have earned. The app is currently available only for Android phones but an iPhone app is expected by late February or early March 2012.
To provide rewards for cell phone free driving, Mr. Cody had to contact businesses in his local area and get them to sign on. Most of the businesses that are currently participating are in New Jersey but Mr. Cody hopes that will soon change as more businesses nationwide get onboard. He is also seeking donor contributions and has opened a new webpage at Kickstarter.com to seek pledges to the cause. He hopes to enlist larger businesses such as insurance companies to provide a larger reward pool for drivers who refrain from using their cell phones. His project will only be funded through Kickstarter.com if he can raise $5,000 in contributions by March 16, 2012.
Business owners can promote their business, while at the same time help to save lives by preventing distracted driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 5,474 people were killed on U.S. roadways and an estimated additional 448,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes that were reported to have involved distracted driving in 2009. Distracted driving has become one of the biggest problems that lead to injuries and loss of life on US roads.
Businesses can sign on by visiting the Drive Alive App website at: http://www.drivealiveapp.com
Businesses, organizations, or individuals that want to pledge contributions can visit the Kickstarter.com website at: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1265026628/drive-alive-an-incentive-based-safe-driving-smartp
There is also a Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/DriveAliveApp
And Twitter at: https://twitter.com/#!/DriveAliveApp