In an attempt to assist drivers in ignoring their phone while driving, Irish student Andrew Irwin has designed an app which can mute your mobile and auto-reply to texts on your behalf.

Drive Safe is a free app currently available to download from the Google Play store which uses your phone’s accelerometer to detect when you’re driving and automatically put your phone on silent. By doing this the app helps reduce the temptation to check a text you receive while driving, while also allowing drivers to enable an auto-reply feature which alerts anyone who tries to ring or text you while you’re driving that you are unavailable.

By using the phone’s accelerometer instead of GPS tracking battery and data usage is minimised while the app is active, with the app also offering a built-in emergency feature ensuring that you won’t miss urgent matters. After a third consecutive call from the same person the app is de-activated, allowing the phone to ring at normal volume and alert the driver to the importance of the call.

Drive Safe creator Andrew Irwin, a 23-year-old student of Computing in Software Development in Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, believes the app could make an immediate difference in changing driver behaviour. “Simply the goal is to save lives. With one tap Drive Safe could help prevent fatalities and serious car accidents attributed to mobile phone usage while driving,” he said.

“I’ve always strived to keep the app as simple as possible, so that anyone of any technical ability or age can use the app first time, with ease. I have also tried to keep as much language out of the app as possible, as Drive Safe is a global app, used all around the world.”

Since its launch the App has been a global success, having been downloaded over 30’000 times in 116 countries and boasts users from Barbados to Letterkenny. In the last 30 days alone drivers in 71 different countries have used the app to encourage safer driving habits.

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