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TransUnion and the tech firm Cellcontrol will soon start selling a device that prevents a driver's cell phone from making or receiving phone calls or text messages when the vehicle is in drive.
The device, called DriveID, will sell for $129 and mount behind the rearview mirror.
"This device disables the phone from receiving or making calls and text messages," said Mark McElroy, executive vice president of TransUnion's insurance business unit. While DriveID prevents talking or texting, the driver would still be able to call 911 in an emergency.
DriveID is not the first product on the market designed to keep drivers from the temptation of using their phone when they should focused on driving.
But it comes when a new study by the National Safety Council found cell phones continue to be a factor in a high percentage of car crashes.
According to the NSC, 1.2 million accidents in 2013 (about 21 percent of all accidents that year) involved drivers talking on handheld and hands free cell phones. At least another six percent of crashes (at least 341,000 accidents) in 2013 involved people texting and driving.
In many cases, the drivers are teenagers or young adults who are relatively inexperienced behind the wheel.
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-- Phil LeBeau