AT&T introduces free 'anti-texting' app

(August 30, 2011) DALLAS — New drivers are getting behind the wheel to head back to school, and because the average teen sends and receives five times more text messages a day than a typical adult, AT&T today announced a simple — and free — way to lessen the temptation to text while driving.

The company launched its AT&T DriveMode mobile application, which, when downloaded and activated, automatically sends a customizable reply to incoming texts — notifying the sender that the user is driving and unable to respond.

The auto-response is similar to an "out-of-office" email alert.

AT&T's anti-texting-while-driving mobile solution is part of the company's broader "It Can Wait" campaign that aims to stigmatize texting while driving. Starting today, the app is available for free through the AT&T AppCenter and BlackBerry App World stores, with more supporting operating systems planned in the coming months.

"AT&T's new mobile application has the potential to prevent injuries and save lives by changing the behavior of a generation," said Sandra Spavone, executive director, National Organizations for Youth Safety. "This proactive and innovative move by AT&T showcases their commitment to social responsibility to prevent crashes resulting from texting and driving before they happen. Making the choice to use this product could be one of the most important decisions drivers make."

Once downloaded, customers can manually enable the app prior to driving, activating the text auto-reply feature. The app also allows disabling of emails, incoming and outgoing calls and Web browsing. When the app is turned off, user can view the calls, messages and emails as they normally would.

AT&T DriveMode also offers additional safety and convenience features, including:

    • The "Allow List" lets users select up to five contact numbers — such as roadside assistance and family members — to send and receive calls while the app is running.
    • 911 is an automatically approved number and easily dial able from the home screen.
    • Music and Navigation settings allow one music and one navigation app to run while AT&T DriveMode is enabled.