The UK is testing signs that detect when phones are used in cars

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Weary of drivers still using their phones behind the wheel, one area of the UK is using tech in an attempt to stop people from picking-up their handsets. The technology, developed by Norfolk-based Westcotec, can detect phone usage in cars, similar to a speed indicator sign and it’s hoped new signs will persuade motorists to change their behaviour.

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Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?

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More comfortable online than out partying, post-Millennials are safer, physically, than adolescents have ever been. But they’re on the brink of a mental-health crisis.

…the allure of independence, so powerful to previous generations, holds less sway over today’s teens, who are less likely to leave the house without their parents. The shift is stunning: 12th-graders in 2015 were going out less often than eighth-graders did as recently as 2009.

Today’s teens are also less likely to date. The initial stage of courtship, which Gen Xers called “liking” (as in “Ooh, he likes you!”), kids now call “talking”—an ironic choice for a generation that prefers texting to actual conversation. After two teens have “talked” for a while, they might start dating. But only about 56 percent of high-school seniors in 2015 went out on dates; for Boomers and Gen Xers, the number was about 85 percent.

…Even driving, a symbol of adolescent freedom inscribed in American popular culture, from Rebel Without a Cause to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, has lost its appeal for today’s teens. Nearly all Boomer high-school students had their driver’s license by the spring of their senior year; more than one in four teens today still lack one at the end of high school. For some, Mom and Dad are such good chauffeurs that there’s no urgent need to drive. “My parents drove me everywhere and never complained, so I always had rides,” a 21-year-old student in San Diego told me. “I didn’t get my license until my mom told me I had to because she could not keep driving me to school.” She finally got her license six months after her 18th birthday. In conversation after conversation, teens described getting their license as something to be nagged into by their parents—a notion that would have been unthinkable to previous generations.

Apple’s Don’t Disturb While Driving Mode Is a Blunt Answer to a Nuanced Problem

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Apple announced a bunch of whizz-bang thingamabobs at its Worldwide Developers Conference this week—a new iPad, the Homepod, smart security upgrades. But it’s a little fanfared feature that might save the most lives: Do Not Disturb While Driving mode extends the company’s existing Do Not Disturb mode to the car. The original is great for meetings and naps; the newcomer might prevent you from killing yourself and others.

The Last Emoji

sprint last emoji

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Sprint has unveiled the ultimate emoji as a statement against texting while driving.

…According to Adweek, Sprint and Alma chose Miami as the location for the sculpture, and placed it there April 29, because Florida remains one of the few states that does not prohibit texting while driving as a primary offense. This means that texting drivers can only be issued citations if they’ve been pulled over for another traffic offense.

Toyota radio ad shuts down iPhones because drivers won’t

Toyota Siri radio ad

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Let’s be clear: It is incredibly dangerous to do anything with your phone while you’re driving. You shouldn’t be texting, checking your mail, or swiping through Tinder when you should be focused on all of the people and giant, dangerous machines around you.

But Toyota knows that despite all of the warnings and common sense, some people are just going to chance it anyway. So a new radio ad it’s running in Sweden is taking the choice out of their hands.

 

For Some Teenagers, 16 Candles Mean It’s Time to Join Uber

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For generations of American teenagers, obtaining a driver’s license was a rite of passage. But when Jonathan Golden, a scruffy-haired high schooler who lives in Santa Monica, Calif., turned 16 in November, he couldn’t be bothered with the bureaucracy of the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Instead, he wanted his own Uber account.

That way, he could do normal teenage things like meeting friends at the mall, going to the movies or coming home from school without having to call his parents. He was also open to the idea of picking up a date in an Uber, though he says he doesn’t have a girlfriend at the moment.