SAN FRANCISCO (CNET) — We all know it’s not safe to talk on your phone or text while driving. Most of us want to do the right thing but our discipline can be weak when there are calls and messages coming in.
So today you can find little hardware devices or software to put on your phone that do the same thing: recognize when the phone is in a moving car and prevent it from receiving calls and emails and texts. Some devices will automatically reply to the senders and callers saying “I’m driving right now, I’ll get back with you shortly”.
If however you feel you need to stay on top of your texts and emails in some way while driving, there are programs that are going to read the messages to you and then let you reply back with simple canned responses. When you get to your destination you can really pay more attention to them and do a more detailed reply.
And if you’re in the market for a new car, check out systems like Kia and Ford that will also read texts to you, but also let you voice command the car stereo and navigation system all without taking your eyes off the road and fiddling with lots of buttons.
The safest way to be in your car with a phone is to put it down and not pay attention to it. But let’s face it, we’re all human. With some of these technologies, you can at least be a safer one.
Brian Cooley is an editor at large who keeps his fingers on the pulse of consumers’ attitudes toward tech. His specialty is CNET Car Tech videos, but, frankly, most people have seen him on the TVs at Costco (or in one of his ’60s Fords or Fiats).