T-Mobile Backs Application to Block Texts, Calls While Driving

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But safety experts say that not only do these currently available applications suffer from reliability and performance issues, they also lack another key component: the support of a cell phone carrier.

"There are several technologies out there today that, in our opinion, are not effective," said John Ulczycki, a vice president with the National Safety Council.

He said the role of a carrier like T-Mobile is "very significant" because it ensures functionality that smaller companies don't have and also simplify the monitoring process for families and companies with driver safety policies.

Russ Rader, a spokesman for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, said that while a carrier-backed service might be more reliable and easier for families to use, adoption could still be a wild card.

"It's hard to know how widely accepted these systems will be by drivers," he said.

Studies have shown that cell phone use while driving increases crash risk by four times. But "distracted driving is bigger than just cell phones," Rader said. "Targeting cell phones only addresses one slice of the problem."

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