OTTER tackles texting and driving as a lifestyle choice, not a driving issue

When I first approached OTTER founder Erik Wood about his mobile app for Droid, my understanding of OTTER was that it was a mobile application that addressed the texting and driving epidemic that our nation and the world are experiencing today. But after multiple telephone conversations, text-messages, and our interview, it has become evident that OTTER is not just about texting and driving.

From 2002-2007, more than 16,000 people reportedly have been killed in a car crash related to texting and driving. While this number does not compare to drinking and driving related car accident deaths, text-messaging is not far behind. With the accelerated growth rate of people taking to mobile phones and devices, the number of people texting…and driving, is only increasing.

Worst yet are the youth that are killed each year due to texting and driving. Assuredly one of the last things any parent wants to go through.

So how do we tackle this issue? Do we lock down kids out from their cell phones to prohibit them from doing it? Erik Wood points out in our interview below that by listening to our youth respond with things such as,”I can get around that” or “I can hack that”, it is clear that the lock-down approach is likely to fail.

In the interview, Erik shows how OTTER tackles the problem of “texting and driving” as a lifestyle issue and a driving issue.

“By giving people tools on their phone to help minimize the distractions OTTER app tackles texting and driving as a lifestyle choice, not a driving issue from text-messaging, including driving, we don’t approach it as a texting and driving issue, but rather as a text-messaging culture issue, of which driving is a part.”

This is so true. I can attest to this because from the day I installed OTTER on my HTC Evo and stuck with using it, I began to witness first-hand in a highly conscious way just how much texting was picking at my day. Now after only a few weeks I almost unconsciously activate the GPS feature of OTTER on my phone when I go to drive. I also have created lists with custom messages for when I need to eliminate distractions. I also tell people about the app and encourage them to use it.

The overall experience – AWESOME!

Putting technology to work for you so that you can better serve those counting on you…that is something worth installing.


About the Author

Ryan Jeffrey Gerardi
Ryan Jeffrey Gerardi is Chief Editor of AutoConverse Magazine and Executive Producer and Host of the AutoConverse Podcast and Live Weekly Webcast called the Mobility Tech & Connectivity Show, or MTC Show. He is also Founder & President of AutoConversion with nearly 20 years experience in the transportation space. Ryan concentrates his efforts today on exploring people, ideas, and technologies related to how we get around and how we are connected, being a father and studying Taoism and Wu Wei.