NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Nacogdoches Ford dealership, Tipton Ford says the technology is already out there to offer hands free cell texting while driving. Douglas Durbin jumps into a new truck, fully loaded, including the latest technology.
"Phone," Durbin says while sitting in cab of the truck. Seconds later a woman's voice is heard repeating,"phone".
A system called Ford Sync allows him to place and accept phone calls without even looking at his cell phone.
"Every year they're kinda making updates to the product," Durbin, a new car manager at Tipton explained. "(They're) making it a little bit smarter. A little bit easier to use. A little bit more user friendly."
It's one of the big three automakers way of making the roadways safer. This week, Ford Motors released a new national survey that says 93% of U.S. drivers believe handheld texting while driver is "very dangerous" and 86% support a nationwide ban on texting. While the majority of motorists surveyed acknowledge driving and texting is very dangerous, only 42% of those surveyed believe drivers would stop texting behind the wheel even if it was banned.
Durbin may look odd driving down the road as if he's talking to himself, but it's better than the alternative. Nearly 6,000 deaths and a half million injuries last year were blamed on driver distraction.
"Just punch a button on the steering wheel and keep your eyes on the road," demonstrated Durbin.
With a compatible phone, the hands free technology includes texting. For now the option runs about $400 dollars.
"Eventually it will be in every vehicle, especially if cell phones remain as popular as they are than if you can't use them and they are not safe to use they'll have to be something," speculates Durbin.
This dealer orders the technology for most of its cars. They know customers are willing to pay the price for the mobile phone calls with the added security.