Body Shop Owner Builds Phone App To Cut Down His Income

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Michael Watson is a rarity: a business owner trying to make less money and see fewer customers. And to do that, he's creating a free smartphone app, according to WGNO-TV.

His auto repair business, Jim's Body Shop of LaPlace, Louisiana, sees a lot of business from car crashes, as you might expect. Many of them involve teenagers, who are texting on their phones. According to Watson's Facebook business page, the danger is significant.

Distracted driving and texting and driving has become a huge problem in the world today. According to the insurance Institute for Highway Safety, texting and driving kills 11 teens each day across America. 21% of distracted teen drivers involved in fatal accidents were distracted by cell phones. Nearly half (48%) of drivers admit to answering their phones while driving, 58% of drivers continue to drive while talking on the phone.

According to another statistic he posted, a driver looking at a text while driving takes a minimum of five seconds away from watching the road. At 55 MPH, that's the equivalent of driving the length of a football field without looking.

Watson told WGNO that often he gets stories from drivers that are different from the ones the people tell the police who investigate the accidents. A fairly consistent story he hears is that someone has been texting while driving.

So Watson has someone creating an app called Text Guardian. Parents will be able to download the software onto their kids' phones. It prevents the kids from using the phones while driving and contacts the parents should the teen delete to otherwise get around the app.

The Android version is expected to be ready in a few weeks, while an iPhone equivalent will follow sometime after.
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