Every day, we drive to campus and back, to meet friends, and take that spontaneous weekend road trip. Every day, we are also constantly on our phones¬–texting, talking, looking up directions–that we’ve become numb to the impact phone usage can have when we’re behind the wheel.
To change this dilemma, Marci Corry, a College Station mom, decided to make a change and encourage drivers to set aside their phones when on the road. Safe2Save is an app designed to reward drivers
for not using their phones in the car. It adds points each trip the phone is locked and stays locked until the car is at a complete stop.
“There is always a sense of false pride when we tell others not to text and drive but still do it ourselves,” Corry said. “That’s how the idea of the app came alive; it’s a way to make a difference in people’s lives.”
The app lists local restaurants and stores at which reward points can
be used as coupons. Users can also upload a photo of a loved one to remind them that accidents caused by using a phone while driving impacts their families and friends. As the app grows, more restaurants and stores may be added to encourage people to visit places they have not tried before. Right now, the app features discounts from places like Mad Taco and Grub. Showing coupons from the app itself will also help developers know which establishments drive more traffic.
“Most people are not aware that texting while driving
is equivalent to drinking four beers,” said Corry. “So we encourage drivers to ‘control the controllables.”
In case you missed it, the City of College Station passed a local law that will prohibit the use of cell phones when driving, effective November 9. You can still use hands-free devices to talk on the phone.
Corry also mentioned that voice texting is as unsafe as regular texting and the real danger is in the perception that it is safer. And we still read over the spoken text before sending it.
“We all share the same roads, and restaurants can motivate people,” said Corry. “We plan to expand to larger cities and this way we can learn from people’s feedback on which place they like and visit more often.”
The app launched Tuesday, October 4, and will increase visibility within the next few weeks around the Bryan/College Station area. They intend to grow grassroots within the community first rather than implement an elaborate marketing strategy.
“The College Station Police Department is a huge proponent of this idea,” Corry said. “The Chief of Police said the city’s goal is to change behavior and not just give out tickets. They like that businesses are linking arms and making a difference for the community’s safety.”
On October 18, Bahama Buck’s will be hosting a launch party for Safe2Save where people can try all Fall flavors for free by installing the app on their phones. The time will be posted soon on the website, www. safe2save.org. Developers plan to reach out to social media and advertise at local restaurants, along with requesting users to spread the work to friends and family.
Users are asked to email suggestions directly to firstname.lastname@example.org about areas of improvement in the app and watch out for Facebook and Instagram for #Safe2Save posts.
Get into the habit now of not using your phone while you drive because the benefits are many and the consequences are not worth risking it for.