I’m trying out a few applications for the BlackBerry that promise to help with being a responsible driver. One is drivesafe.ly and the other is zoomsafer. I know statistics say there’s quite a few drivers who text, I can make an educated guess it’s more. We all know someone who does it.
We all love our BlackBerry, and sometimes we are so caught up we cannot help ourselves, and it’s hard to draw the line where it is excessive, especially when we are so used to multitasking. Well, today I saw a movie titled “Seven Pounds”, and of course the main character you find out at the end received a message on his BlackBerry and his looking at his phone instead of the road caused his accident which killed seven people. It really affected me, not to mention caused my daughter to look at me with a raised eyebrow since my BlackBerry and I are inseparable. So I went to search for applications that will help me to more responsible. Not that I text while I drive, but I’m usually fortunate to have my daughter as a passenger who is quick to grab my phone when it dings and can answer for me. But this would help make life easier and assure her that I am responsible even when she isn’t in the passenger seat, not to mention show her I want to be a role model and show her I want her to do the same.
The two apps are drivesafe.ly and zoomsafer. Both apps are free or have a free version. Drivesafe.ly is actually available in the BlackBerry Sync Store as well. The description of drivesafe.ly is as follows:
DriveSafe.ly automatically reads incoming text messages and emails out loud so you can concentrate on the road. Eliminate the temptation to reach for your phone by letting DriveSafe.ly read to you and optionally auto-respond for you.
Stay connected by listening to your messages without texting while driving or reading emails in your car. DriveSafe.ly is the answer to texting while driving TWD .
For even more functionality download DriveSafe.ly Pro – also available on BlackBerryÂ® App World. DriveSafe.ly Pro adds the ability to use additional voices, listen to text messages and emails without sponsor messages and much more!
This app is compatible with BlackBerry devices that have OS 4.5 and up.
There is a paid, a one time fee and monthly fee version available.
The free one includes:
Reads up to 25 words per message
Female voice only
Optional text and email auto-responder
Easily upgradable to DriveSafe.ly Pro
The one time fee of $13.95 includes:
Low one-time charge for lifetime of phone
Reads up to 500 words per message
Choice of female or male voice
Auto-select voice by contact gender
Optional text and email auto-responder
The monthly is the same as above, but charges a monthly fee of $3.95.
With ZoomSafer, it’s available by signing up on line, and the text is sent to the phone. You are able to choose 3 designated contacts who may call you while you drive and who can receive notification when you drive and stop. The scary thing is that it’s a proven fact statistics show that 80% of crashes involve driver distraction. It’s a concerning issues, so much that President Obama has banned texting for all Federal employees. We’re making changes, but it’s not enough. We as adults, are the examples to our children and our teens. We need to start paying more attention, and software such as these can make a difference.
ZoomSafer’s description is as follows:
ZoomSafer is patented software for mobile phones that prevents distracted driving by helping motorists make better decisions. Â The service automatically activates when you’re driving and applies a policy that determines what you can/can’t do with your phone. Â Plus, ZoomSafer leverages psychological and social factors to encourage you to make good choices — and it can even remind you that there may be criminal and financial consequences for making bad choices.
By helping people make better choices when driving â€“ ZoomSafer can successfully:
reduce risk of crash
reduce risk of liability
Right now ZoomSafer is in stage one of the beta and it includes:
Auto speed detection – ZoomSafer detects when you start to drive and automatically activates.’
Safety Announcements – A recorded message plays when ZoomSafer activates reminding you to drive safely. Â We’ve pre-recorded several announcements for the Beta, but in phase 2 of the beta you’ll be able to record your own custom announcements as well as choose from several Celebrity Safety Announcements.
Auto-Toots – These are messages sent on your behalf to friends, families, and social networks to tell them when you’ve started and stopped driving. Â These updates are OPTIONAL and can be sent via SMS or E-mail to up to three contacts. Â You can also update Facebook or Twitter with these notifications.
Keyboard Locking – Your keypad will be locked when ZoomSafer is active (driving mode) except for: (1) the “Close” soft key exits the application when you have stopped driving or if you are a passenger. (2) Calling 911 (on the Storm, this will be a soft key and all other Blackberry models, you can press 9-1-1) and (3) the Voice Dialer left hand convenience key – For this initial Beta, we are allowing you to use the native voice dialing application on Blackberrys to make outbound calls. In the future this feature will only be available as part of the ZoomMate premium service.
Three Priority Contacts – You can enter up to three Priority Contacts who will be able to call and interrupt you while you are driving. If a priority contact calls you while you are driving we will announce the call via a generic ZoomRinger. In phase 2 of the beta you will be able to create custom ZoomRingers for each of your priority contacts.
Inbound phone call management – While you are driving, we will suppress ringer/notification of all inbound callers who are not listed as Priority Contacts.
Inbound email/text message management – While you are driving, we will suppress messaging-related inbound alerts.
Auto-Responses – While you are driving, if people try and contact you via phone, email or text – they will receive an auto-response notifying them that you are focused on the road and driving with ZoomSafer.
I’m going to be alternating these apps and using them, to see what I think about them. I encourage you to try them with me, and make a difference. I’ll be sharing my review by next Sunday on both the ZoomSafer and the drivesafe.ly. If you try them with me, I would really like you to share your comments on this post with me, share your findings and experience with them. Change begins with us, and even if we are not guilty of reading our texts or emails while we drive, we can begin showing the younger generation we care by taking advantage of software that is designed to help us and them. I know I’d feel better if I like the software and have my family using it as well. It’s assurance and relief. I’d really appreciate some comments and let me know if you’re joining me in this assignment this week.