After a Washington man watched his three-year-old daughter narrowly avoid being hit by a driver who was distracted by texting on his cell phone, he decided to take action. There's no denying that driving while texting shifts your attention away from the road and can result in a catastrophic, if not fatal, Seattle car accident. Car and Driver Magazine published a study conducted by Virginia Tech that concluded drivers that text have slower reaction times than intoxicated drivers. Not only that, but those who choose to text while driving are almost 25 times more likely to be implicated in an auto accident.
Erik Wood teamed with software writers to bring OTTER to life. His software, which is an acronym for "One Touch Text Response," serves to inhibit people's instinctual need to respond to a text-message right away, even when they're driving. The application is set-up so that when you travel faster than 10 miles per hour, a GPS sensor will trigger your phone to go into an auto-reply mode. The phone won't alert the driver in any way that a text message has been received and it will send a customized response automatically to the sender.
Wood claims the software was designed to be used as a "tool, not a shackle" and was not intended to "impede on anyone's civil liberties." OTTER has also paired up with the Break the Habit Campaign which serves to educate teenagers about the dangers of texting while driving.
An added bonus that the software provides is decreasing distractions while working or studying. Wood has heard from users that are now much more productive during school or work hours by setting their phone to the auto-respond OTTER mode. This application works on the Google Android platform only and is available to download for $3.99.
We hope that more people will come forward with other smart ideas to make our roads safer and to help decrease accident rates. At the Law Offices of Kirk Bernard, we've seen way too many accidents caused by texting while driving that could have been easily avoided. To learn more about the Break the Habit Campaign click here. For more information about OTTER, please click here.