One Simple Idea To Stop Texting And Driving
A couple of years ago, it occurred to me that there might be a simple way to discourage motorists from texting and driving. Since the phone has GPS, it can determine how fast it’s traveling. So, once the phone detects that it’s moving above 20mph and less than 200mph (i.e., not flying), it could disable texting while in portrait mode.
Those last four words are the secret sauce.
Some people have proposed requiring the smartphone owner to answer a question or take a quiz before texting capabilities are enabled for a phone in motion, but that’s inconvenient to everyone in the vehicle. No one wants to take a silly quiz every time they get in the car.
If you simply disable portrait mode texting and enable texting while the phone is in landscape mode only, everyone else in the vehicle can still easily text, but you make it very difficult for the driver to text without taking their hands completely off the wheel, which is something that drivers naturally avoid doing because it feel very dangerous—far more dangerous than it currently feels to text with one hand and drive with the other.
Texting and driving would not only be thought of as irresponsible, it would feel irresponsible, and passengers would be more likely to speak up if necessary.
Yes, some people will continue to text and drive, just as some people continue to drink and drive. This isn’t meant to bring the number of people texting and driving in the world down to zero; it’s simply intended to reduce the number significantly. Requiring two hands to text by limiting texting to landscape mode while in a moving vehicle will almost certainly reduce texting while driving.
Potential Clients: Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, RIM
PS: For accessibility reasons, a manufacturer or service provider would be able to disable this feature for individual customers with special needs.