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"Safe driving" phone app comes to Nashville

Residents of Nashville and all over Tennessee are aware of the dangers of texting while driving. Distracted driving in general causes serious accidents, property damage and takes countless lives. Texting requires a driver to take his or her eyes off of the road and in the time it takes to send a message, it could be too late to prevent serious injury or death. In an effort to combat distracted driving, Sprint and AT&T have both released new applications ("apps") that shut phones down in cars.

These safe driving apps are available on the Sprint Android and the AT&T Blackberry and both phone companies are looking to expand the program to other phones, as well. The app is designed to improve a driver's concentration by removing the temptation to look at his or her phone. Instead of taking phone calls, checking text messages or trying to get in contact with friends while driving, a driver will not be able to hear or see if someone calls or texts.

The app will not leave the phone completely dead, however. The driver has the ability to program five numbers into the phone that can be called or can call through while the phone is locked down. Additionally, the driver will have access to a navigation program and can always call 911 during an emergency.

If a family member or friend wants to track when the application is disabled, he or she can sign up to receive a notification. This is particularly helpful for parents who want to hold their teenagers accountable for their driving behavior.

One of the major differences between Sprint and AT&T's application is that Sprint's will automatically turn on if it is in a car traveling faster than ten miles per hour. AT&T's app must be manually turned on and off each time it is to be used. There is no indication of other phone companies currently looking into similar safe driving applications.

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