It’s pretty clear that I love phones, and tech, and apps. I was excited when AT&T asked me to check out their new app for iPhone called DriveMode. With a tween who also uses a phone and will be driving soon (OK… soon being a relative term here, as in a few years from now)… it’s important for me to set a good example on my phone. The problem is – IT’S HARD! When so many notifications come in and life is moving so fast, sometimes I need a little help.
DriveMode kicks in once the car is going over 15mph and basically provides a shield while you are driving – silencing incoming notifications. You can also set the app to send a custom auto-reply for you to let people know you are driving. Depending on what screen you have open, a top banner will blink red saying “DriveMode” – which is a good reminder that it can wait till later to use your phone.
However, if you really need something, the app provides one button access to 5 emergency numbers, music and the navigation app of your choice. Or, if let’s say you are the passenger and want to access your phone – you can quickly turn the DriveMode app off with the big green slider.
Actually, this video explains the concept probably better than I can.
I have been playing with DriveMode for a few weeks and I can tell it really works. I was shocked how many times I really do reach for my phone while driving.
I think I have always been more cognizant of it when Dex is in the car, but that flashing red is like my little Pavlov reminder to not only be good when I have an audience. Because no message, no matter how important, is worth my life or the life of anyone else. It really CAN wait.
AT&T has a fun It Can Wait site that gathers social shares with the #X (like, X it out) and #ItCanWait tags, gives tips on helping friends not text and drive and gives you the ability to make your own pledge. The coolest (and scariest) demonstration of how much texting affects your driving is this simulator game, where you drive on your desktop computer while your phone is getting text messages. Let’s just say I did not do well.
But in real life, I *am* doing well at this. I do not text while driving and we are teaching our son that while driving is a privilege, it is also a big responsibility. Plus it’s way more fun to just concentrate on the road, listen to music, and not be stressed out about anything else.