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Apps that block texting and driving

Distracted driving is one of the biggest causes of road fatalities in the U.S, responsible for as many as 20 percent of all crashes involving injury or death. And with almost 2 trillion texts sent each year, it’s not difficult to work out that texting is a major contributor to those disturbing statistics.

While texting is no longer the exclusive pursuit of teens, young drivers are particularly vulnerable to the distractions caused by smartphones and other handheld devices.

Over 30 states and the District of Columbia have banned texting and driving, but the laws are notoriously difficult to enforce. And while companies like Ford are introducing Do Not Disturb buttons that can block incoming calls and text messages, these tools are only slowly becoming available.

Fortunately for concerned parents, there are a number of applications that have been specifically designed to disable cellphone and smartphone features while younger drivers are behind the wheel. The apps use a phone’s GPS capability to determine movement and typically block texting and web surfing when a vehicle is going faster than 5 or 10 mph.

Here are four of the more popular apps, although none of them are currently available for the iPhone:


tXtBlocker blocks texting and speaking while a vehicle is in motion and sends an automatic “Driving” message to anyone who texts or calls. tXtBlocker can also be customized to block text messages or calls at certain times of the day or near certain locations, such as a school or workplace. 911 calls are always allowed. tXtBlocker costs $6.99 for a single-user plan and $9.99 a month for a family plan. It works with most Android and BlackBerry devices.

Cell Safety

CellSafety is the mobile initiative from WebSafety, which produces highly-acclaimed PC monitoring software. CellSafety offers a complete suite of cellphone safety apps, including message monitoring, GPS tracking, no texting and driving, no texting zones, and speed alerts. CellSafety costs $9.99 per month for a single device and $14.99 per month for up to three devices. Again, CellSafety supports most BlackBerry and Android devices.


Textecution sits quietly in the background and allows you use your phone normally. Once it detects that the phone is travelling faster than 10 mph, Textecution disables the phone’s texting feature, so text messages can’t be sent or received. Once the phone is at rest or travelling slower than 10 mph, the texting feature is restored. There is a one-time fee of $29.99 to download the app, which is good for the life of a phone number. Android devices only.


iZUP is another app that monitors speed and other critical conditions to determine whether a phone is in a moving vehicle. Once a predetermined speed is reached, iZUP kicks-in and disables incoming and outgoing calls, texting, and e-mail. There are exclusions for 911 calls and other authorized numbers, such as a parent, guardian or employer. iZUP is $2.95 per month for a single user and $5.95 per month for a family plan covering up to 5 different phones. iZUP is available for a range of Android and BlackBerry devices.

Comment by Nicholas Reyes, posted 5/20/2014, 5:38 PM:

Instead of having to pay for these safety programs,they should be free and law enforced.
Comment by Sharon Garcia, posted 1/23/2013, 11:04 AM:

Any advice for disabling a Verizon iPhone? I have 2 teenaged drivers and would love to know there is no question of them touching their phones while driving even though we have discussed the consequences ad nasuem.
Comment by kathy, posted 11/17/2012, 4:52 PM:

May be this link help out you http://www.androidspy-software.com/parental-control-software-keep-tabs-on-children/
Comment by Ron braithwaite, posted 10/10/2012, 3:13 PM:

Which of these apps work with the IPhone?
Comment by Grace, posted 10/2/2012, 10:40 AM:

@krystal -- PLEASE put the phone down. if it's illegal in the state you live in, it's illegal even at stoplights. If you can't resist the temptation, put the phone in your trunk. @aburdette Good luck with your daughter. IF she's not getting the message, take control and take away the phone PLEASE!
Comment by Sean, posted 9/23/2012, 10:40 PM:

If you don't have a smart phone, you can't get apps. It's as simple as that. App developers are more interested in smart phones, as they are easier to develop for and they have a larger more universal platform and marketplaces. BTW, I totally agree that charging monthly for apps like this is absolutely terrible. They are praying on peoples fears to make money. There are apps that have small one time fees. Just look in the Google Play Store, or the Apple app store.
Comment by A Burdette, posted 8/28/2012, 12:39 AM:

Are there any apps that work on a "non-smart" cell phone?? My daughter is NOT getting the message & I'm desperate to find something to disable her phone while she is in her car. It is GPS enabled but not Android or Blackberry. Everything is geared toward smart phones. Please help!
Comment by Jonathan Martin, posted 8/3/2012, 2:13 PM:

Check out the family safety Apps from Rapid Protect at http://www.rapidprotect.net They make some wonderful "Speed Control", "Driver Control" and "Road Safe Driver" applications for stopping the texting while driving. They are the best apps as they have many innovative features. I highly recommend them.
Comment by Larry allen, posted 7/18/2012, 2:37 PM:

Can the driver easily disable the app without us knowing? Anything for IPhone?
Comment by April Makley, posted 11/19/2011, 6:58 AM:

Hi. My child has the Verizon Intensity phone, which is more of a basic phone. Are you aware of ANY apps that will work for this phone. I am also interested in text message content, too. Thanks!
Comment by Matt Erickson, posted 9/2/2011, 7:01 AM:

Just for the information iZUP Lite was just released, it is a text blocker/auto responder. It is available on the android market https://market.android.com/details?id=com.illume.izuplite.iZUPLite&feature=search_result
Comment by Krystal Hurst, posted 8/25/2011, 4:57 PM:

These apps are a great idea. I know I find texting in the car addicting; although I'm usually at a stop light. My only wish is that these companies wouldn't charge for something that could save lives.
Comment by Cheyanne Howell, posted 8/24/2011, 6:25 PM:

What a great idea! I wish everyone would use these apps, the road would be so much safer!
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