By Alan Shope, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -
The Memorial Day holiday weekend kicks off the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers, and AT&T has an app with features they hope will help prevent crashes.
Car crashes are the leading cause of death for those 16 to 20 years old, according to the federal government. Seven of the 10 deadliest days on the road occur between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
In one federal study, 25 percent of teens admitted they send at least one text every time they get behind the wheel.
"I actually know a few people who have been in accidents from texting and driving," teen driver Nick Williams said.
One of his friends rolled his vehicle while texting and driving.
The app from AT&T is geared at bringing the texting-while-driving habit down. The Drive Mode apps uses a sensor to detect when a car is going more than 25 mph and won't let anyone text. If someone sends you a text, it sends a reply saying that you are driving and can't respond.
Nate Anderson said he thinks the new app "is an awesome idea."
"Texting while driving is not intelligent," Anderson said. 'It encourages bad behavior and if you're looking at your phone, you're not looking at the road."
AT&T spokesman Chris Lester said it is an important issue and the app is growing in popularity with concerned parents.
"The simple message for us is no text is worth dying for," Lester said.
He encourages parents to get the app for all phones. In a new feature, if a young driver disables the app from his or her phone, then the parent gets an email alerting them.
Parents said they welcome the app, saying it will help ensure their children are responsible drivers.
"At least it's the beginning of something," Victoria Amrine said. "I think there are always going to be people that break the rules, but it's the beginning of trying to stop it."
For more information on the free Drive Mode app, click here.
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