Get in the Groove and keep your mind on the road

Whether by looking at texts, checking phones or even eating food, 11 teens die every day due to distracted driving. Luckily, a new device named Groove is set to change how people use their phones while driving.

Scott Tibbitts founded Groove in 2009 after a distracted driver killed a fellow business partner. With the tragic accident in mind, Tibbits seeks to prevent distracted driving. The small, battery-sized device plugs into a socket under the steering wheel and connects with the internet cloud. Groove signals cell carriers that the vehicle is on the road, blocking all notifications until the car has reached its destination. People who try to contact drivers will receive a response that the recipient is driving.

However, Groove is not unique. It faces a wide array of competitors such as CellControl and SMARTwheel. CellControl completely disables the phone while the owner is driving, and SMARTwheel alerts drivers when they are distracted through a stimulus released from the steering wheel.

According to the American Automobile Association, teen drivers are four times more likely to be involved in a car crash than experienced drivers. Therefore, apps like Groove can alleviate parents’ concerns for their teen drivers. In addition to notification restrictions, parents can customize Groove’s settings to restrict other programs such as music streaming.

Nonetheless, Groove does have its drawbacks. According to Texting and Driving Safety, 77 percent of teens claim that they are somewhat confident that they can drive safely while texting. Teens could easily unplug Groove with this sense of security. In addition, some teens feel controlled by their parents if they were forced to install the program.

Groove is still in its early stages, as the devices continue to be tested. With these developments, Groove can reduce the number of tragic accidents that claim thousands of American lives every year.