A Dutch company has developed a new app which limits the use of smartphones while driving.
Drive safely Keep focused is described as a ‘technically advanced application which allows drivers to focus on the road without losing the ability to keep in touch with the outside world’.
The app automatically detects when a car begins to move and makes handheld calling (in and outbound) unavailable to the user, while also blocking social media notifications.
However, the use of navigation tools remains available, as does the ability to call emergency numbers. There is also a mode which enables passengers to make and receive hand-held calls.
Developed by Dutch-based company Apptuning, the app is available to download free on the Google Play store and organisations can have their app personalised upon request.
It is already in use across Europe, including at the Dutch insurance company ASR, and in 2016 a Belgium Bank/Insurance company will also introduce their own personalised version of the app.
Apptuning points to research which shown that, worldwide, nearly 1.3 million people are killed on the roads each year and suggests that this number is set to rise to 1.9 million by 2020.
It says that driver distraction is responsible for 20% of road crashes, a statistic it describes as ‘mind-boggling’. Apptuning adds that ‘worst of all’ road crashes are preventable and says it is easy to see how the increase in smartphone usage can be linked to the rise in road deaths.