App Lets Parents Turn Off Texting While Kids Are Driving - NBC4: Columbus, Ohio News, Weather, and Sports (WCMH-TV)

App Lets Parents Turn Off Texting While Kids Are Driving

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -

Driving is a rite of passage for teenagers, but in this age of technology, it can be a dangerous one.

Most people have a cell phone, and the temptation to text is always present.

According to a survey from AT&T, 75 percent of teenagers have admitted to texting while driving.

It's a deadly combination that is sure to make any parent nervous.

"My biggest concern is paying attention to maneuverability and staying safe in general," said Amber Hunt, a mother. "You have to be focused [with] both hands on the steering wheel."

But now, there's an app that promises to turn the car your teenager is driving into a no texting zone.

Hunt said she feels that texting while driving is currently a bigger issue for teens than driving and driving.

"I don't think that every teenage driver is drinking while driving, but every teenage driver will have a phone in their hand," Hunt said.

Her son, Tyson, agrees.

"I don't feel like I could focus on it because I want to make it out of the car alive," Tyson said.

A new app called Detext is making it easy to avoid the urge to text by shutting down the functionality.

Parents register online and then download the app onto the child's phone. By using the GPS, the app identifies when the car is moving, and then the texting capability is shut down.

Once the car is stopped, the messages are received.

Parents can also sign up for alerts when their child is speeding.

But there are some drawbacks.

The app can be disabled, and parents are not immediately notified.

The app also cuts off mapping options while the car is in motion.

Drivers can also bypass the app by completing a puzzle, which indicates the operator is a passenger in the car. This would also make it possible for friends to unlock the phone for the driver.

While the app can be helpful in the process, it's not foolproof, and experts said that talking to kids and leading by example are still the most important steps to safety.

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