We Have a Winner!

I know we all wanted to win the Vivienne Tam netbook, Intel offered to give to one lucky GeekGirlfriends reader. But most of us didn’t. Dana’s comment – number 7 – was the winner. (I used Random.org to choose.) Dana admits she scored a “Mobile Misfit” rating on the poll in that post but now that she has the right tool to take out in public, her lack of mobile etiquette will no longer be annoying. It will be stylish! She is, and I quote, “Totally stoked!”

I have to admit that I’m a bit worried about some of you, though. What is up with all this texting while driving? It has me seriously concerned. I get it. Of course I do. The little “you have a text” chirp sounds. You’re bored at a red light or in slow-moving traffic. That text is probably something really interesting. Vital even. So you pick up the phone. But once you cross that tempting little line, you are concentrating on a 2 x 2 screen and not on the road. That is so dangerous! (I know you know this.)

A recent University of Kansas study found that:

  • Cell phone users have been found to be 5.36 times more likely to get in an accident than undistracted drivers. The risk is about the same as for drivers with a 0.08 blood-alcohol level.
  • Talking on a cell phone while driving reduces attention in younger adults so that they have an average increase in accident risk of between 200 percent and 700 percent.
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration research in 2007 indicates that at any given daylight moment more than 1 million motorists are using a hand-held phone.

I wouldn’t have believed those numbers but there were so many confessions of texting while driving in my Mobile Etiquette giveaway that I do believe them. In fact, there were so many textfessions that Zoomsafer contacted me and asked me to tell you a technology it patented to help you stop. I don’t normally cover products I haven’t tried but I can’t try this because it won’t work on my Sidekick. But you Blackberry, Android, iPhone, and some others can use it. Why don’t you try it and let us know if it helps? (It sounds easier than locking the cell phone in the trunk. Though, seriously, maybe you should consider that, too?)

The idea with Zoomsafer is that once you install it, it starts up automatically when it senses you are driving. And it prevents texts from getting to you – or initiates the communication preferences you have set up for driving – until you aren’t driving anymore. That way you aren’t tempted to answer those texts – or the phone – at 70 miles per hour and, as the press release from the University of Kansas puts it, “text yourself to an early grave.”

Please post in the comments here if you try it. I’m curious about how it works and the Web site is a little scant on details.