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(Credit: Sarinya Pinngam/iStockphoto)

Drivers have a variety of ways to help cut down on distracted driving. They can hook up their smartphone via Bluetooth and control music and calls through the steering wheel. Or with some vehicles, they can receive an automated response if they get a text when driving.

We've seen the PSAs, we've heard the stories of tragic loss, we've taken pledges, but checking your phone while driving is still tempting.

Chevrolet launched the Call Me Out app for Android to help combat the problem. The app lets a driver's loved ones record a positive message that discourages distracted driving. Call Me Out wants to keep drivers focused by reminding them who they matter to with a dash of positive peer pressure. It also adds a friendly competitive angle.

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Once Call Me Out is installed, users can have family or friends record a message in the app reminding them to focus on the road. When the vehicle goes over 5 mph, the recording plays if the driver picks up their smartphone.

Call Me Out tries to make a competition out of staying off your phone behind the wheel, too -- think a digital version of The Quiet Game. The app tracks how many texts, phone calls, and social media notifications are received or ignored while driving. The less you touch your phone, the higher your score.

The new app could be effective in establishing good habits for teens just learning to drive. Parents could check the leaderboard feature of the teen's phone after a trip to see how their child fared.

Call Me Out could be used to break bad habits as well. A study conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance this year showed the gap between parents and teens driving and using smartphones is rapidly closing. Parents could install the app with their kids and keep each other accountable.

Checking a text or changing a song might seem harmless. Taking your eyes off the road for five seconds while traveling at 55 mph is equivalent to the length of a football field according to the US Department of Transportation.

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(Credit: Screenshot by Download.com)


Takeaways

  1. Chevrolet launched the Call Me Out app to help combat distracted driving.
  2. The app plays recorded messages from friends and loved ones to encourage drivers to focus on the road. Drivers can also "compete" with other users.

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Shelby is an Associate Writer for CNET's Download.com. She served as Editor in Chief for the Louisville Cardinal newspaper at the University of Louisville. She interned as Creative Non-Fiction Editor for Miracle Monocle literary magazine. Her work appears in Glass Mountain Magazine, Bookends Review, Soundings East, and on Louisville.com. Her cat, Puck, is the best cat ever.