Consumer Report: Apps to prevent texting and driving

Consumer Report: Apps to prevent texting and driving
BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- Amanda Kloehr was nearly killed in a horrific car accident because she was distracted. Amanda says she often used her phone to text and talk while driving and wants to warn people how damaging it can be.

“I was in the hospital for two months straight, and then when they finally discharged me, I was still in and out of surgery for literally over two years after I got out. It’s changed my life forever. I have pain every single day. It’s not something that will ever go away, ” Amanda Kloehr said.

Now Amanda keeps her phone in the back seat, far from reach, while she’s driving. Consumer Reports tested another solution — free apps for Android phones that inactivate most of your phone while you’re driving. There’s Sprint’s “Drive First,” “Safely Go” from Verizon, and AT&T’s “DriveMode.” All three blocked the texts as promised and sent back an automatic reply, which you can customize. And they each can limit incoming calls to a short list. With the Verizon app, you turn it on each time you’re about to drive. The others go on automatically, which is an advantage.

“So once you’re going a certain speed, AT&T it’s 25 miles per hour and Sprint is 10 miles per hour, you don’t have to think about it,” Liza Barth of Consumer Reports said.

And Sprint also offers a website where parents can monitor what their teen is doing with their phone while driving.Consumer Reports found all three apps work well and might prevent more accidents like Amanda’s. If you’re an iPhone user, you can go to your settings and select “Do Not Disturb” before you get behind the wheel. Consumer Reports says this option won’t send any automatic responses, but it will silence all text message notification and phone calls so you won’t be distracted.