(WJBK) - When 61 percent of people admit to texting and driving, it's no wonder nearly half a million people are injured in distracted driving accidents each each year. Technology is what gets us into trouble sometimes, but it can also be used to knock that number down.
Take Drivemode, for example - an app with 2.5 million downloads since it's development in 2011. It works like those emails you get when someone is on vacation, sending an immediate message back to the sender.
"It's an automatic bounce back to the person saying, 'Hey, I'm driving right now. I'll text you later.' So I'm pretty sure if anyone sees that bounceback alert they're not going to want to text you back; they're going to wait for you to [respond]," says Shavonne Nelson, Drivemode app idea founder.
Connected to your GPS, the app takes over your phone when you hit a certain speed.
"It tracks if you're doing over like, 15, 25 mph, it automatically turns on," Nelson explains.
But what if your teen turns the app off?
"It goes to the parent!" Nelson says, smiling. "'Hey, your teen turned the app off!' So they'll know automatically that their teen is not using the utilizing this app, and I'm pretty sure that any parent would want to get that message or just the peace of mind knowing that they're using this app and they're not texting and driving."
If you're looking to take an even more aggressive approach, maybe you're looking for a piece of technology that locks your texts will work for you. Car Connection 2.0 plugs directly into your car and connects to satellites, sending alerts to mom and dad.
"It's pretty cool because it gives you driver scores; it tells you how the person's been driving, whether or not they've been speeding," adds Teresa Mask from AT&T. If it gets unplugged from the vehicle, mom and dad are alerted.
With nearly 1.6 millon accidents happening due to distracted driving, Mask says at AT&T they've been working to help spread the message,
"We want people to know that it's just dangerous. We want this to be as big a deal as drinking while driving. It's that dangerous. People are dying or getting injured daily because of this," she says.
FOX 2 has teamed up with the Secretary of State and the Sam Bernstein Law Firm to stress the importance of driving distraction free in The D.