Whilst not illegal in many states, taking a call or texting whilst driving can be very dangerous since it can take your eyes and mind off the road and if you're not using a hands-free device, occupy one of your limbs, too.

American Auto Sales in Fremont is one of the first retail outlets now selling a device called Cellcontrol that disables cell phones whilst your vehicle is moving, to take away their distraction entirely. Even if you're not taking a call or sending a text, it can be tempting to take a cheeky look at your phone if you receive a text. With Cellcontrol, this is no longer the case.

Mother of two Lori Koebel, selling the devices in Fremont, thinks it's a great idea. "My kids, whether they like it or not, have to have this in their cars," she says, adding "I think it is going to save the lives of new, inexperienced drivers. As a parent, I can't imagine losing a child over a cell phone."

So how does the system work?

The Cellcontrol system is integrated with a car's computer system. It can then tell if the car is moving or whether it's in park or neutral, and blocks or allows calls and text messages accordingly. When the driver pulls over and puts the car into park, they can then use their cell again.

For safety purposes, drivers are still able to dial 9-1-1, even with the device activated. The system also allows for certain numbers to be available, and Lori Koebel has her phone number listed so she's always able to contact her children.

There are of course other options to limit or prevent cell phone useage in-car. Bluetooth hands-free devices allow you to send and receive calls without taking your hands from the wheel for too long, though this can still be distracting and take some of your concentration off the road ahead.

Abstinence is always an option too and costs nothing, but even the strongest-willed of us may sometimes feel the need to pick up our phones!

We'd say devices like Cellcontrol are certainly worth considering for worried parents. Without being over-protective, they can give you piece of mind that your child's mind may be more on the road than it is on the screen.

[The News Messenger]