January 27, 2014

When we get behind the wheel, we are taking on a responsibility that is rarely unmatched. Driving has become a major part of day to day life for many of us and this responsibility is often taken for granted. Distractions while driving are many and we must all do our part to keep our eyes on the road and "Just Drive." 

The State of Kansas has outlawed the act of texting while driving and in the city limits of Manhattan it is illegal to use a mobile device that is not hands free. To save yourself from this $140.00 citation the Riley County Police Department recommends the purchase of a Bluetooth device, or better yet, just don't answer your phone. This is easier said than done, especially when your phone is ringing, dinging and chirping constantly, but be reminded of the importance there is to driving with fewer distractions. 

A vehicle traveling 30 mph is moving at a rate of approximately 45 feet per second. The time it takes to read and respond to a text, with the added average reaction time of a driver leaves you traveling over 130 feet... without eyes on the road. This distance is enough to drastically change your life as well as the lives of others. There is no text message more important than the lives of our neighbors and with that in mind, we have done a little research to help you curb your distracted driving habit. 

AT&T DriveMode

For AT&T customers with an Android or Blackberry, this app allows the user to customize a message that automatically is sent as a reply to incoming texts. This message can let your friends and family know that you are currently driving and will be better able to reply once it is safe to do so. This free app when enabled activates itself when the device is traveling at a speed of 25 mph or more. Data and text messaging charges may apply for the download and app usage. For more information on this app visit AT&T online!

DriveSafe.ly

DriveSafe.ly is a mobile app that has the ability to read incoming messages aloud, helping to prevent the urge to grab your phone and take your eyes off the road. This app can also automatically respond to incoming messages with a customized response. DriveSafe.ly has potentially prevented over 1.5 million texting while driving incidents and the number keeps growing. In the event that there is a message that must be sent and pulling over isn't an option; this app also allows users to respond via voice control. This leaves your messaging habit one hundred percent hands free, though the better option is to pull off the road. Download this Blackberry, iPhone, Android, and Windows Mobile app online. There is a subscription charge for this app.

Text-STAR

This app works as a personal assistant as well as a auto-text responder. When your device has this app enabled and is going 10 mph or more it disables your texts. It also allows you to schedule auto reply texts in advance, if you plan to be busy at a later time, whether you are driving or doing something else. Download this app for Android only.

DriveScribe

Want to be rewarded for driving habits? DriveScribe may be the solution. This app transforms your mobile device into a driving coach to help reduce distractions. It also evaluates your driving performance and gives you points accordingly. This app is available for iPhone and Android.

There are many other options for mobile users so if these examples don't fit your needs here is a list of more apps that are helping drivers "Just Drive."

Textecution
SafeCell
TxtBlocker

iZup

Remember police are out looking for signs of distracted driving and though in Riley County and Manhattan you are more likely to receive a written warning than a citation, we often don't give warnings on traffic offenses that are extremely dangerous or are likely to cause a traffic collision. For more information on how distracted driving can change your life, we have included a documentary about the dangers of texting and driving. 

For more information on Distracted Driving we have included an additional article in our news section. Do you have a tip for distracted drivers? Tweet them to us using the hastag "#JustDrive."