Many psychology experts consider mobile device and social media addiction to be a plague of our time. As it turns out, it’s one of the strongest addictions people face nowadays.
A lot of people can’t resist texting or checking out their social media feeds while driving, causing accidents (many of them fatal) that could otherwise be easily avoided. Of course, the most foolproof method to prevent oneself from getting distracted behind the wheel is not to touch the mobile phone.
But how many people can honestly say they never did that while driving? According to a recent survey from Research Now, 90 percent of people admit having handled a phone while driving, even though 84 percent of them know that it’s a dangerous habit.
In an attempt to fight this phenomenon, Chevrolet hosted a hackathon where teams of young people were challenged to come up with ways of reducing distracted driving. That’s how the “Call Me Out” smartphone app came to life.
As most great ideas, it’s a simple one. When people touch their phones while driving, a pre-recorded message from one of their loved ones reminds them to put their phones down and keep their eyes on the road. “Designed to leverage the positive influence of peer pressure on behavior,” the app combines two extremely influential forces: technology and the people we love.
Basically, “Call Me Out” is an audible alert system that gets activated when the phone is physically picked up while traveling at speeds above 5 mph (8 km/h). To detect motion, the app uses the device’s accelerometer and GPS. It then plays recorded, personalized messages from friends or family. The app is free and is currently available for Android phone users.
To make things more engaging, “Call Me Out” includes gamification, with a scoreboard and rankings. The less a phone is handled while driving, the higher the score. Just don’t check your ranking while driving.