If you can't keep your hands off your cell phone while driving, a new blocking device can help you keep them on the wheel.
CellControl plugs into the computer terminals of cars made in 1996 and later (terminals are located under the steering column). It then links to your cell via Bluetooth and a downloadable application. When the vehicle is in motion, the device blocks all incoming and outgoing calls, plus texts and e-mails. But it always allows you to call emergency numbers.
CellControl does not depend on cell phone tower triangulation or GPS; as long as a car is moving at more than 1 mph, it will sense the motion and block calling. Incoming calls and messages are stored.
The device can be programmed, though, to allow only calls or text messages. Once the car is stopped, calls automatically come through. Passenger cell phones are not affected.
Driving while distracted (DWD) is becoming an increasingly important public safety issue.
Louisiana-based developer Obdedge says texting was related to about 500,000 road accidents in 2008. Meanwhile, the United Services Automobile Association recently noted that studies conducted in summer 2009 show texting while driving makes a driver 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident, while talking on a cell phone while driving, even hands-free, makes drivers as likely to cause a crash as someone considered legally drunk.
Obdedge is offering free beta testing before it launches CellControl for BlackBerry devices on September 15. Launches for Windows Mobile and Android will come later.