WebSafety (WBSI.OTC) announced a new dedicated website with details on their DriveSafety anti distracted driving App launching next month.
The other day I was on the way to get some grocery shopping done when I spotted someone casually texting while driving in the lane next to me. I know that’s illegal, and I thought for a second whether or not I should get the license plate and drop a line to the local cop shop before they accidentally mow into a pedestrian at a crosswalk somewhere.
I didn’t. By the time I had my phone out and fumbled around enough to get ready to dial, they had turned down the corner and the prospect of rambling off their license plate was gone. It gave me pause that there isn’t an easier method, and almost succeeded in ruining my night.
Think about it. Checking a text for five seconds while going 90 kilometers an hour means you’ve travelled the length of a football field basically wearing a blindfold. Also food for thought for your next jaywalking expedition. You can’t always guarantee that the person behind the car will stop, because hey, they might be too involved in their twitter feud to pay attention to what’s happening on the road.
Here’s some fun stats (and by fun, I mean terrifying).
- Drivers with experience using advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) like adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist, were nearly twice as likely to engage in distracted driving while using the systems compared to when they were driving without the systems.
- Drivers conversing on mobile devices, either hands-free or hand-held are up to four times as likely to be involved in a crash.
- 80% of collisions and 65% of near crashes have some form of driver inattention as contributing factors.
- Driver distraction is a factor in about 4 million motor vehicle crashes in North America each year.
- 10% of fatal crashes, 18% of injury crashes, and 16% of all police-reported motor vehicle traffic crashes were distraction-affected crashes.
- Distraction was a factor in nearly 6 out of 10 moderate-to-severe teen crashes.
- Almost half of all people killed in teen (15-19 years old) distraction-affected crashes were teens themselves.
Now let’s get back to WebSafety.
What is WebSafety
Glad you asked.
What WebSafety’s known for is producing an application that basically acts like a miniature surveillance service for today’s perpetually terrified parent who must absolutely know what their child is doing at any and every moment of the day for the maintenance of their own sanity.
Both the iOS and Android versions of the app will also include the following new features:
- Geofencing: Parents are notified when their child arrives or departs from a location and can label that location as safe or unsafe
- Instagram: Images, posts and comments are now monitored
- Push Notifications: Parents are alerted by a real-time notification to their phone when their child might be exhibiting questionable/problematic behavior
- Free Subscriptions: WebSafety now offers the app for both IOS and Android mobile devices at no cost.
You download the app from the App Store or Google Play onto any iOS or Android mobile phone, and you can monitor the activity of your kids iPad, laptop or mobile device. The app can be used with all four major wireless carriers in the United States and three major carriers in Canada. Parents can monitor multiple mobile devices like phones and tablets and customize alerts and the type of information they want to receive.
I’m generally of the opinion that today’s children are overmanaged, overmedicated and aren’t being given the experiences that make them necessarily antifragile and are therefore unprepared for adult life, so the company’s core technology seems absolutely horrific and borderline totalitarian. On the other hand, an app which monitors drivers to ensure they’re keeping their eyes on the road while in the passenger’s seat of their nearly silent hybrid-motorized one-ton death machine is a perfect use of this technology.
Drive safely or get off the road
The estimated societal damage resulting from texting and driving is $129 billion annually including, among other costs, property damage and the expenses associated with more than 4,000 texting and driving fatalities. That’s too damn much.
DriveSafety is an app built on patented technology that stops texting and driving. Basically, the application shuts down the phone while in transit so you can’t text, and can’t take a phonecall even hands free until you are no longer moving. It takes variables like distance, speed, and time into consideration, between two points and cuts out functionality between those two poles.
“Our DriveSafety app was created to stop distracted driving because drivers cannot discipline themselves to leave the phone alone. Focus groups indicate a false confidence by drivers between the ages of 16-40 that they can safely text and drive, they do not see a need to stop the habit; they only see a need to avoid being caught,” said Rowland Day, founder and CEO of WebSafety.
The potential here for WebSafety involves their patents. They’re the real drivers here when it comes to economic and investment opportunity. Even if everything falls apart for this company tomorrow, or magically distracted driving becomes a thing of the past, they’ll still have the patents when (and if) some other company wants to get into this game.
But as long as there’s careless people out there who care more about their twitter wars than the security of passengers, pedestrians and other motorists, there’ll be money to be made for companies like WebSafety.
Sadly, if there’s one thing we’ve never had a shortage of, it’s careless people.