You know you’ve done it before! You’re as guilty as the next monkey of putting the phone down right before the cop that pops out of nowhere catches the reckless act. If you own a mobile device and you drive, chances are you have sent text messages while driving.

State Farm Android Application "On The Move"

State Farm Android Application "On The Move"

To “curve” the urge to text while driving, State Farm developed an Android application called “On The Move” that automatically replies to text messages while you drive.

There are a few applications out there like True SMS-Life Saver that have a pre-defined template that you send once you pull off to the side of the road. There are others that kill your SMS abilities once you travel faster than 10MPH. What separates State Farm’s On The Move application from the rest is that it replies to text messages automatically with a default or customized text message and its FREE. All you have to do is turn it on before you hit the road and let it work its magic. You may also use it during meetings, at the movies or even as an excuse not to reply to your annoying friends. The possibilities are endless!

State Farm® Launches Insurance Industry’s First Free Mobile Tool to Combat Distracted Driving

The service is the latest addition to the State Farm suite of mobile tools, which includes Steer Clear™, mobile banking, and Pocket Agent™.

It will be available on August 23rd via the Android Market. “On the Move” is compatible with Android OS 1.5 and higher. Upon updating State Farm Pocket Agent™, Android users will be able to access “On the Move” through a widget available on smartphone home screens.

The service is not available at this time on BlackBerry, Windows Mobile phone or iPhones but the State Farm development team is currently evaluating options beyond the Android offering.

State Farm Press Release

I could give you tons reasons and examples  like the NSC estimate of 1.6 million crashes that are caused each year by people using cellphones to talk and text. Or the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study that shows evidence of texting while driving increases chances of a collision up to 20 times compared with those who are not. Texting could even be more dangerous than driving under the influence! I’m not sure about that one, they’re probably equally as dangerous. Whatever the case study or examples its stupid to do so due to the risk factor so just pull off the road somewhere or just wait until you arrive at your destination. You don’t want to run over Johnny the bicycle guy just because you took your eyes off the road for a second.

Helpful? This might prompt the religious nutjobs to speed up the process!

The old adage: “If I had a dime for every time I almost got in a wreck due to someone on their phone” needs to be amended to include texting. This happens way more often than I’d like it to. There have been at least a dozen times where a person yapping away on their phone has ALMOST collided with my car. I reprimand them by shaking my head at them or giving them the finger, depends on which mood I’m in. Now we all have to worry about one more human-induced hazard. Texting while driving!

Thumbs up to State Farm Insurance for proactively proving the free Android application available free for download through Android Market, now they just need to develop one for the most popular device of all the iPhone. Surely other insurance carries will should follow suit by providing similar applications.

Safe defensive driving.

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