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New iPhone App Lets Other Drivers Tattle On You To Insurance Company

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DriveMeCrazy iPhone App

DriveMeCrazy iPhone App



When truck companies started slapping the "how's my driving?" bumper stickers onto their trucks, they were onto something: driving safety should increase if drivers can report bad behavior on the road.

Now we have the DriveMeCrazy iPhone app, which brings the bumper sticker concept to your smartphone. You speak the bad driver's license plate number into the smartphone. This will flag the bad driver and issue a virtual ticket. It will include information such as date, time, and location, along with the offender's license plate number.

While a virtual ticket may seem harmless, it's not. That ticket will be sent to both the appropriate state's DMV and insurance companies. Anyone with the app can write a ticket, so it does not need to be a driver. Worse yet, even if you don't have the app, you cannot opt out. You can be reported by anyone, at any time.

The possibilities and implications are endless. We could see an insurance company eventually purchasing its app for the database of information and users. Currently, insurance companies buy driving records. If they had people reporting bad driving behavior to them, they would have the information directly.

As for privacy issues, "People think they can do bad things on the road because they think they can get away with it,” Said app creator Philip Inghelbrecht. “I believe that driving is one of the most public acts that you could ever do. One small mistake can impact the lives of those around you."

Inghelbrecht compared the app to the government encouraging people to call in possible possible drunk drivers. We are not so sure that this direct comparison can be made. A driver going faster than the person who reports then, may not pose the same hazard as someone drinking and driving.

While this app might prevent some unsafe driving behavior, is the end of anonymity on the road really a good thing? Will this really help highway safety? Both of these questions are highly debatable. Drop your thoughts into the comments below.

The DriveMeCrazy app is now available for free in the iTunes App Store

[Wired Autopia]

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Comments (6)
  1. As a driver who does 25K a year in LA traffic, I deplore this app.
    Yes, there are bad drivers out there. However, the idiots who will be using this app while driving will be among them, distracted narcs who themselves don't know how to drive.
    Not to mention the road rage fools who get PO'ed at you for driving right and getting in the way of their maniac maneuvering. It'll devolve into a he-said she-said pile of rubbish, and nobody wins.
    Besides, the problem is not bad driving skills alone, but frequency. Every driver has the occassional brain fart behind the wheel. Me too. But for me a brain fart is every 20-25K miles or more, not every time behind the wheel like some morons. But the insurance scam industry doesn't factor that into anything and they should.
    When they start to report the illegal driving tactics of cops is when the app will be pulled. That or when the DMV and the insurance companies realize that the reality of their clients should be based on testable skills and loggable experience and not some Insurance Commission in a state capital.
     
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  2. There's a fundamental difference between safety hotlines (how's my driving) and this type of App. The hotline calls result in the truck driver getting TRAINING and COACHING to help him/her improve. That's why crashes are reduced, NOT because a report was filed and put in a file cabinet, or because a fine was issued. If the problem is poor driving, the answer isn't tattling - its delivering assistance to the affected driver to help them recognize ill-advised habits and to drive more thoughtfully/courteously. The app can't contribute to safety since it's not able to offer training or meaningful coaching assistance. Stick with the proven and effective - technoglitz is a waste of time.
     
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  3. I could see this being abused - John Doe has a grudge against Jane Doe, so he reports her even if she's not doing anything wrong. The police would have to verify that Jane Doe is breaking the law to write a ticket, but what about the insurance companies?
     
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  4. This is a worsest app ever. Pepole will keep fighting on the road instead focusing on driving. Lolz
     
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  5. Depends how they use the output. If for example, one particular driver (or car) appears a disproportionate number of times in the database, for similar transgressions, they are more likely to be a bad driver than say, the person who is 'ticketed' by some vindictive haters once or twice over months.
    Especially if a driver's record in the app happens to correlate with a particularly poor DMV record. These are the people we need to target, because, dare I say it, the majority of road users are safe and considerate.
     
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  6. If accompanied by a video of the violation taking place, it could be very valuable. There are a lot of bad drivers out there getting away with it.
     
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