Distracted driving is a dangerous, life-threatening behavior. In the past several years, many states and cities have passed laws that ban texting while driving. That has led to the creation of apps that will help drivers keep two hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
Vlingo just announced “Vlingo InCar,” a new beta feature for Android users that allows consumers to receive and send text messages without taking their hands off the wheel or their eyes off the road. Vlingo InCar offers users:
• Voice driven, hands free initiation using a “wake up word”
• Conversational user guidance instead of a touch screen
• Ability to send and respond to messages, make calls and get directions using only voice commands
-Ralph Reid, Sprint’s Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility
“Sprint firmly believes in helping wireless consumers combat texting while driving with engaging educational tools and innovative products that assist them in drastically changing this dangerous behavior. With Vlingo’s hands-free application on the Android Market, drivers are able to keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel, and Sprint is pleased to support Vlingo InCar as an application for its wireless customers.”
In addition, here is some additional information about the app and a tutorial video from The Droid Guy.
In 2005, Sprint created a free interactive program - Focus on Driving - to educate teenagers enrolled in driver's education classes on the dangers of driver distraction, the importance of attentive driving and how they could ensure a safe driving experience for themselves and others on the road.
Five years later, Sprint is broadening the scope of the "Focus on Driving" mission to support nationwide programs that educate teenagers and adult of all ages on the importance of safe driving in today's heavily wireless world. Sprint is partnering with "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and DoSomething.org to educate wireless users on how safe driving habits can protect themselves, their passengers and others on the roads:
• "The Oprah Winfrey Show" "No Phone Zone" Campaign: Created in January 2010, Sprint is sponsoring the "No Phone Zone" campaign's continued efforts, which include a new public service announcement running on-air, in print and online. In addition, the "Oprah" show hosted its first national "No Phone Zone" Day on April 30 to help put an end to distracted driving. "No Phone Zone" Day included a live episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and viewing rallies in Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. in a large-scale effort to honor victims of distracted driving, educate the public about the dangers of distracted driving, and activate Americans to make a difference in their communities. Sprint provided support for "No Phone Zone" Day and in the coming months will continue to spread the "No Phone Zone" message.
• DoSomething.org and Thumb Wars: Launched on April 19, Thumb Wars is a nationwide campaign to educate drivers between the age of 16 and 25 on the dangers of texting while driving and to encourage them to make others aware of this important issue. With support from the Sprint Foundation, DoSomething.org has a goal of engaging and educating more than 100,000 young drivers through the Thumb Wars campaign by the close of summer. The campaign features a PSA with Joel McHale and Ken Jeong from NBC's Community engaging in a Thumb War. Additionally, young people can order Thumb Socks, which prevent them and their friends from texting and driving, and enter a bumper sticker design contest, all through the ThumbWars.org site. Thumb socks cannot be bought. Young people can order them by sharing how they plan to use them to spread the word about not texting while driving.
Sprint Employee pledge:
Sprint has also asked its employees to do their part in reducing the number of distracted drivers on the road by making a voluntary commitment to drive responsibly by taking the "Don't Drive Distracted" pledge. The pledge reads as follows:
"As an employee of a wireless provider, I will set a good example in my community and engage in safe driving practices in my personal life by avoiding risky behaviors like texting or emailing while I am operating a motor vehicle."
The pledge is voluntary and is aimed at all Sprint employees driving their personal vehicles - whether on work on personal business. Sprint already has in place a policy which prohibits employees from texting or emailing while driving company-owned vehicles.