Defensive Driving in the Digital Age

Posted on by Defensive Driving Team | in Defensive Driving Tips

“There’s an app for that.” We all know the saying; so it’s no surprise to find there are apps for avoiding untimely run-ins with cops and checkpoints on the road.

A recent article by USA Today explores the burgeoning trend of smartphone apps that allow drivers to stay one step ahead of police officers by alerting users of upcoming red light cameras, speed traps, etc.

One such app, which is said to be the most popular of its kind, is called PhantomAlert. It provides an online database users can download to GPS devices or smartphones. It uses audible alerts to warn drivers of nearby patrol cars, school zones and DUI checkpoints.

According to the article, apps like PhantomAlert prompt both positive and negative opinions. On one hand, the app may encourage drivers to slow down or be more aware of their surroundings (pro). On the other, features such as the DUI checkpoint navigator hypothetically may validate drinking and driving to users so long as they don’t get arrested (con).

The issue of driving-related apps has even reached the Senate level, where four U.S. senators, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., are urging Apple, Google, BlackBerry App World and Research in Motion to stop the sale of apps they believe encourage drunken driving. A recent article by Time magazine states the senators opposed to the sale of the apps believe the technology allows drivers who have been drinking to find a suitable route home without facing the possibility of being stopped by a police officer.istock_000015603766xsmall (1)

In turn, Research in Motion has responded by saying they will remove the apps from their store; but the jury is still out on whether other app providers will follow suit. Apple has yet to issue a formal response and Google says the senators have not cited examples specific enough to inspire them to discontinue the apps.

A recent story by CNET outlines how industry officials are reacting to the recommendations made by the senators. According to the article, PhantomAlert CEO Joe Scott said that although RIM has stopped the sale of an unspecified number of driving-related apps, the media exposure has increased downloads on other platforms by as much as 8,000 percent.

Among them is Apple’s Fuzz Alert, which uses audio notifications to alert users of red-light and speed cameras when they are within a certain range of the cameras’ locations. Fuzz Alert owner Steve Croke said his app is trending near the top of the navigation category in the app store as a result of the recent surge in attention. He added that less than five percent of the checkpoints featured in Fuzz Alert are for DUIs, and that the DUI feature was not the reason he created the app.

Although app developers are receiving support from advocacy groups such as the Association for Competitive Technology (ACT), other politicians (including Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden) are following the lead of the concerned senators by sending letter of their own to Apple and Google.

As app makers continue to deal with censorship and legality issues, the fate of these types of driving apps remains uncertain. And whether you enlist the help of a driving app or not, it is best to remain alert and aware of posted signs in any given area while driving. Traffic laws are put in place to ensure the safety of drivers and therefore should be followed at all times. Better to obey the law now than end up in traffic court later!

To read about other types of apps that benefit drivers, see the blog “Driver Smarter: Smartphone Driving Apps Worth Trying.”

~ B. Waldman

|

Customer Reviews

Defensivedriving.com has a ShopperApproved rating of 4.7 based on 85491 ratings and reviews.

Lara
Quick and easy
Collin
So far this has been fast and efficient!
Cassie
Easy to use.
Jasmine
Quick and easy to get going.
Debbie
Quick and easy
Micah
Really easy to navigate and gives me a lot of options
Sheron United States
Easy and Awesome
Daniel TX, United States
It's very simple signing up.
Kelsey
It’s quick, easy to navigate, and convenient.
Jill TX, United States
Easy to navigate website
Samuel
Easy to use and pay!
Mary
Easy sign up
Breanna TX, United States
Great experience
Sergio
Fast and easy!
Dennis
quick and easy
Israel
Fast and easy
Daniel TX, United States
great Experience
Travis TX, United States
Selected this program because of the great feedback from other users
Erin United States
Fast and easy!
Kermit
Exemplary
Teresa
Very easy to register
Makayla
Fast and easy to get around
Robert
Quick and easy!
Debra
quick and easy
Andrew
Fast and easy
leslee
easy and simple to use
Nehemiah
It was easy to complete
Uriel
Great course, really easy
barker
easy, simple good value, download cert. get er done in one day, then have great customer service
BLANCA
EASY AND QUICK, I LOVE THAT
Lorenza
Registration was easy.
Parker
Great!
Kamal
The whole process has been very fluid and straightforward, I've had no trouble with anything so far.
Nathan
Easy to access and understand
April
Great!
Erik
easy transaction
See all reviews on shopperApproved.com
Why DefensiveDriving.com
  • 20 Years in Business
  • Over 2 Million Customers Served
  • Highest Possible Better Business Bureau Rating
  • Award Winning Course