Phones

Samsung wants its new app to make you a better driver

The In-Traffic Reply app is an attempt to stop drivers from reaching for their phone while on the road.

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Samsung

You might find it hard to wrench your eyes from the Galaxy S8's huge display, but this can be especially dangerous when you're behind the wheel. That's why Samsung announced its new In-Traffic Reply app to prevent distracted driving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that at any given daylight moment there are 660,000 people on their phones while driving in the US, and that number is even more sobering when you consider the 3,477 deaths in 2015 that were caused by distracted driving.

Drivers who text take their eyes off the road an average of five seconds, a study found in 2012.

The app works by using your phone's GPS and accelerometer to sense when you're driving. This automatically activates the app which will send an auto-reply message to the people trying to contact you, keeping you focused on the road ahead. Currently you can choose to send the default reply ("I'm driving, so I cannot answer at the moment"), or a more lighthearted animated response. Samsung says custom responses will come with a later version of the app.

Note that the app doesn't stop messages from coming in.

In-Traffic Reply is currently in beta, with the full version coming to the Google Play store mid-May.