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AT&T App Limits Driver Mobile Phone Use

November 7, 2014

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74 percent of those polled are aware that texting and driving is dangerous, but still do it. Photo via Wikipedia Commons.
74 percent of those polled are aware that texting and driving is dangerous, but still do it. Photo via Wikipedia Commons.

AT&T has introduced an iOS version of its DriveMode mobile app to limit a driver's ability to use a smart phones while driving. The app silences incoming text message alerts when the driver is going faster than 15 mph. The app deactivates when the vehicle is stopped.

Corporate fleets can utilize this app to ensure their drivers are following the no cell phone policy, says Russ Rader, a spokesman for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

While unveiling the app, AT&T announced survey results that found three out of every four drivers are aware that checking their smartphones while driving is dangerous, but still admit to doing it.

"We compulsively check our phones because every time we get an update through text, e-mail or social media, we experience an elevation of dopamine, which is a neurochemical in the brain that makes us feel happy," said David Greenfield, founder of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction, as quoted by the Washington Post.

The Center for Internet and Technology Addiction surveyed 1,000 drivers and 98 percent admitted that using their phone while driving is dangerous, yet 74 percent of drivers either read or send text messages, glance at their phones to check for new messages or do all of the above when stopped at a red light or stop sign. The main reasons are to stay connected to family, friends or work, according to the survey.

The study is part of the “Texting & Driving… It Can Wait” which was originally launched in 2010.

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