Every day, approximately nine people are killed in the United States in car crashes related to distracted driving, and nearly 1,100 more are injured. In 2015, the National Safety Council, a nonprofit that promotes health and safety, reported cell phones were involved in 27 percent of all crashes in the US.
Cell phones are largely to blame for this increase in distracted driving. Lawmakers have sought to legislate the problem away, yet it remains; we’re addicted to our screens, even when that addiction could potentially kill us or others.
The tech world has taken notice and launched dozens of apps in recent years to combat the use of cellphones while driving. Live2Txt and LifeSaver, for example, block incoming calls or text messages while you’re driving.
Others, like TrueMotion, use AI algorithms to detect when you’re driving, where you’re going, what type of vehicle you’re in, how you’re using the phone (text messaging, calls, etc.) and provides a drive score that includes all of your distracted driving incidents, and when they happened.
The company (formerly Censio) touts increased safety and the potential monetary benefits of providing that safe driving data to your insurance company, but some critics are concerned about the privacy implications of apps that track your every movement without your complete knowledge.
“It’s extending the Facebook model to insurance, which is what people had been worried about for a very long time,” Madeline Ashby, a futurist and science fiction writer, told Motherboard. “You’d be surrendering vast amounts of data about yourself, from which patterns can be inferred and used against you by a judgemental system.”
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