Phone app keeps teens from texting while driving

Parents can set 'no cell zone' restrictions, monitor speed, location

SAN ANTONIO - Texting and driving is a big concern for parents of teen drivers. According to the Texas Transportation Institute, it increases the likelihood of being in a crash 23-fold.

As the mother of a teen driver, Jennifer Davis has worries about her daughter, Carson.

"They have a million texts all day long so it's very different than when we were driving as teenagers," she said.

Now there's an app that can help ease parents worries, called tXtBlocker.

The app is downloaded to the teen drivers phone. Parents can set up driving settings and set up no cell zone parameters on their computer.

The app blocks texts and calls in restricted areas. Parents can even receive alerts when their teen is speeding and can track their location.

"I think the app is a wonderful idea," said David. "I think parents really need to see what they're kids are doing."

The app is one of several emerging technologies that limit distracted driving.

Russell Henk, with the Texas Transportation Institute, said, "I think it can help. It's part of the solution. It's part of what we need in the safety toolbox to help us get through the next 5 to 10 years."

Of course, not all teens like the idea of being monitored.

"It would be down factor," said Teri Meador, "I wouldn't get the app. I wouldn't want to."

If the app is deleted,  parents receive an alert.

Right now the text blocker app is only available on certain types of phones, like Android and Blackberry.

tXtBlocker blocker pricing starts at $6.99 a month.  


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