We all recognize how dangerous it is to be distracted while operating a vehicle, but somehow we all seem to believe ourselves to be much better drivers than we really are. Despite the implementation of laws prohibiting it, we still see way too many people on the road with their thumbs twiddling away on their smartphones or conversing without the use of a headset.
Smartphone and mp3 accessory manufacturer Scosche recently unveiled a new gadget that hopes to prevent the dangerous use of cell phones in a moving vehicle. Called Cellcontrol, the device includes an application and dongle that works together to facilitate safer driving habits. The dongle plugs directly into the OBD-II port under the dash of any car made in or after 1996, while the application runs on your mobile phone.
Whenever the dongle detects that the car is in motion, it communicates with the application to shut down use of the cell phone including functions such as texting, tweeting, emailing, calling, taking pictures and more. If the application detects a handsfree headset, it will allow the driver to make phone calls using the headset.
Although Scosche certainly means well with this product, we're a bit skeptical as to how effective it may be. If you are purchasing Cellcontrol to prevent yourself from any reckless phone use, you'll still have to practice some restraint not to disable the app or remove the dongle. If you happen to have a reckless teenager driving around on the streets, Cellcontrol could be a good investment, but there are still a few problems.
The first problem is the lack of an emergency call function while the car is in motion, which means you'll have to either stop the car or reach under the dash and pull the dongle out if you're being chased around by a madman. The second problem is how easy it is to simply remove the dongle or disable the app, though you'll be notified via email if it has been removed or disabled. Finally, the $129.95 price tag means it might just be easier and cheaper to practice a little restraint and willpower when you feel the urge to update your Facebook status while driving.