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 |  Oct 06 2011, 2:15 PM

Is eliminating distracted driving worth $24 a year? Sprint thinks so, and that’s why the company is offering its customers the new Drive First app.

Available only to Sprint subscribers, you’ll need to download special software to your Sprint Android devices (Android phones launched later this year will have the feature built in, with BlackBerry and Windows 7 devices being added in the future).

The Drive First app locks down your mobile phone when it senses motion (your car needs to be going more than 10 mph). If someone were to call or text you while you were behind the wheel, a message would let them know you were driving. You can select up to five numbers that can ring through, as well as three apps, such as navigation, music and weather (but not Facebook – the app is smart and knows that you don’t need that one open while driving).

You can also choose to override the app, but if teens are thinking about doing it, the app will send a notification to their parents to let them know what they are up to. The Drive First app also knows when your car has stopped, and will unlock to let you use it.

[Source: Edmunds Inside Line]

 |  Sep 22 2011, 1:30 PM

Good news for parents – taking a stand against distracted driving, Sprint has just launched a new app that disables smart phone functions while driving.

The Sprint Drive First app locks your cell phone when the car is moving over 10 mph and sends calls automatically to voice mail. It won’t distract you with an annoying beep to let you know you just got a new email or text, and just to let the sender know you can’t get to your phone at the moment, the app sends out an automated, customizable message as a response. Once you come to a stop, the app can tell you’re not moving anymore, so it will unlock your cell phone. Even if you’re stopped in traffic, it won’t unlock your phone unless you’ve been sitting there for a few minutes.

If you want to override the app and turn on your phone, just hit the Exit or 911 buttons, but be warned teenagers – your parents will receive a notification. For even more control, parents can choose up to five numbers that can ring through the locked phone  and three apps that can still be used when the car is moving, such as GPS or a music player.

Sprint is the latest cell phone carrier to fight distracted driving with a dedicated app.  AT&T recently released a similar app for Blackberry users that sends an auto-reply to texts, emails and calls. And in January, T-Mobile unveiled an app that limits smartphone functions while driving.

Sprint Drive First will cost $2 a month and will only be available on Android. If you’ve got a Blackberry, don’t worry – a version of the app will be available for your phone in the near future.

[Source: Consumer Reports]