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Cutting the Phone Lines

by  on  News & Resources

Cell phones are the biggest culprits when it comes to keeping drivers from paying attention to their surroundings. As our cell phones and mobile devices play an increasingly important role in our day-to-day lives, the number of lives claimed by distraction from these devices has skyrocketed, making distracted driving prevention one of the largest campaigns in recent years, joining the ranks of drunk and drugged driving.

Even though most drivers know it is dangerous to text and drive, very few can resist a quick peek when they see their screens light up or hear the beep of an incoming message. Scrolling through social media sites or your email inbox at a red light can cause dangerous distraction too — the landscape of a road changes so rapidly that any diversion can put a driver in a vulnerable position.

In an effort to help curb distracted driving, a Colorado inventor is introducing one way to prevent distraction caused by incoming text messages, emails, video calls and other communications on your smartphone. The new device, called Groove, cuts the lines between your phone and the outside world when you hit the road.

Inspired by Personal Tragedy

Inventor Scott Tibbitts developed Groove after a potential business partner, Dave Sueper, was killed on his way to meet with Tibbitts in Denver in 2008. Sueper was crossing an intersection when a distracted driver ran a red light and collided with his car. The accident, which Tibbitts said “could have been him if the meeting had been scheduled two hours earlier,” prompted the inventor to take a closer look at how technology could be used to prevent distraction rather than provide it.

In 2010, Tibbitts founded Katasi, a company operating out of Boulder, Colorado, with a team of telecom and aerospace industry executives. Here, Tibbitts developed the technology that created Groove. Groove is a small box that communicates with a driver’s mobile cell provider and sends alerts whenever the driver is on the road.

How Does Groove Block Communication?

Groove plugs into a socket underneath the car’s steering wheel (provided the vehicle was made in 1996 or later). From there, it monitors the car’s movements and prevents the driver from receiving texts, emails and any other incoming communications besides phone calls by working with the cell service provider.

Groove connects the car to the Cloud and notifies the phone provider when the car is in motion. The provider actually blocks communications once that notification is received, which allows any cell phone user to also utilize Groove regardless of their service provider. From the Cloud, anyone trying to get in touch with the driver will receive a message explaining that that person is driving and will respond once he or she arrives at a destination.

Where Can I Get Groove?

Currently, Groove is ready to go, but cell phone providers are not yet on board. Legal issues and complications are blocking progress on getting Groove into cars today, but Tibbitts hopes that once the proper protections against lawsuits are in place, more mobile phone companies will be willing to work with his company to save lives.

For more information on distracted driving and prevention, or if you or a loved one has been injured by a suspected distracted driver, contact the Denver car accident attorneys at Levine Law today.