A University of Utah study says using a cell phone while driving, whether it's hand-held or hands-free, delays a driver's reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent.
But now, there's a device that could help drivers kick a bad habit and save hundreds of lives.
A group of Baton Rouge parents created a device called "Cellcontrol" to make sure their teens practiced safe driving skills. Senior Vice President Chuck Cox said there are several other applications on the market, but they all only cut off use while the phone is moving.
"We get a signal from the vehicle's computers that it is moving, then it sends a Bluetooth signal to the phone that has our application downloaded on it," Cox said.
The buyer of the program then decides how the phone can be used while the car is in motion. It can prevent things like emailing and texting while driving, which has been outlawed in some states, including Louisiana.
"With the anti-texting laws, people have gone from texting up [high] to texting down [low], which is more dangerous," Cox said.
And Louisiana State Police see just how dangerous this can be almost every day.
"We see crashes, some serious, some even fatal because of distracted driving," Lt. Doug Cain said. "So it's something that we address through enforcement, through education and hopefully we can change that behavior and save lives."
"You know you don't want your kids out there drinking and driving and you also know that they're out their texting and driving," Cox said. "It's time that people take steps to make a difference."
And bring an end to a serious problem that a Harvard study blames for 2,600 deadly crashes each year.
Cox said they've worked hard to make sure Cellcontrol is affordable for consumers. He said it's not only a great device to protect your family, but also your employees. Cellcontrol can be installed in company vehicles as well.
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