LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Holley Nees - email
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Get this: now you can text, while you're driving, without typing a single character.
"I think it's a really good idea because it could probably reduce the risks and probably save some lives maybe," Aadam Harvey said.
It's a series of new smart phone apps that read your text messages and e-mails out loud. Some even allow you to respond by typing your message for you as you talk or send an automated message.
"It would probably help too," Breanna Raglund said. "You don't have to hold the phone to read it and you look away when you read it, look off the road."
Ragland says she's had a few close calls and her friend, Jennah Mathis, rear-ended her mom while she was texting behind the wheel. But, they both still text on the road.
"She slammed on her brakes and I was sitting there texting, but I had my head like down and I hit the back of it, just a little bit," Mathis said.
"At red lights, I'm not paying attention and I'll almost run one, so I've almost rear-ended a couple people," Ragland said.
"Actually my cousin has rolled his truck due to texting and driving," Harvey said.
But not everyone thinks these new apps are the answer.
"I think it would be safer, but it still diverts your attention from what you're doing," Jonathan Cortez said.
"A driver needs to focus on the task of driving, not on the task of answering a text message," Lufkin Police Det. J.B. Smith said. "It will be there when your trip is completed. If the app reads it to you, you're still going to be distracted."
Smith says your phone needs to be out of your hands and your mind.
"Having your hands on the wheel is important, but you've got to have your mind on the task of driving," Smith said. "So, if there's an app out there that allows you to hear your text message with no driver input whatsoever it'd be more effective I think than receiving it manually."
So for drivers that just can't resist responding to a text alert...there may be a safer way to reply.