Tech to the Rescue: Apps that prevent distracted driving

By: Eric Tipan

AS GREAT as humans are at multi-tasking, driving just isn’t one of those tasks that can be paired with any other. Driving an automobile is a concentration-intensive task because of the high level of risk involved and simply because it’s against the law.

Research done by the World Health Organization classifies ‘distracted driving’ into four types:

  • Visual – looking away from the road for a non driving-related task
  • Cognitive – when your focus on the road is taken away by the topic of conversation on your mobile device
  • Physical – the driver’s act of physically holding or operating a device like mobile phones or even the vehicle’s infotainment system while driving
  • Auditory – when the driver’s attention is diverted to a ringing phone or even when loud music is playing in the cabin and masks the sound of traffic around the vehicle

In the Philippines, the controversial Anti-Distracted Driving Act was re-implemented on July 6, 2017

In the wake of preposterous communications surrounding the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Anti-Distracted Driving Act (ADDA) that mistakenly interpreted everything from windshield-mounted devices to rosaries as ‘distractions’.

We scour the World Wide Web for smartphone features and apps that can prevent you from making that force-of-habit act of checking your smartphone while driving.


iOS 11

iPhone users, you’re in luck. Before the year ends, Apple will release their latest operating system for mobile devices, iOS 11, and it will come with a ‘Do Not Disturb While Driving’ mode.

When turned on, this feature will detect when the user is mobile and mute all incoming notifications to keep the iPhone’s screen dark.

An auto-reply function can be set for contacts in Favorites with a default message indicating that the user is currently driving and cannot respond until they arrive at their destination.

Vehicle passengers may either opt to keep the feature toggled off if they don’t drive or simply press the ‘I’m Not Driving’ button to continue hearing message prompts.

Google’s Android doesn’t yet have a built-in system to prevent ‘distracted driving’ so you’ll just have to settle for third-party applications.

While you wait for the next iPhone update or you’re using an Android, here are some apps you can download – some free, some are not – so you’re ready for the day they re-implement the ADDA.



Lifesaver is an app that uses global positioning system (GPS) to lock a driver’s smartphone while the vehicle is in motion. It works on a system of challenges and rewards with the help of the driver’s immediate family. Once the smartphone is unlocked while the vehicle is in motion, an SMS is immediately sent to a family member. It is available on iOS and Android and is free for private users but comes with a fee for fleet and commercial use.



Focus is an app that operates on a game-style basis. The app starts as soon you drive and will reprimand you when you touch your phone. The voice begins in with a strict tone before progressing to a barking orders for you to put down the phone and concentrate on the road. It is free for iPhone and Android users but various other advanced features are unlocked if you purchase it for US$ 4.99.  (


Nationwide FUSO Truck Fair kicks off this month at MMPC dealerships

FROM July 10 to July 15, 2017, the first Fuso Truck Fair goes nationwide. This campaign aims to highlight MMPC’s FUSO light, medium and heavy-duty truck line-up in MMPC dealerships and exclusive Fuso showrooms.  During this 1-week period, additional savings and special giveaways will be provided to truck buyers.

MMPC dealers will be displaying a variety of FUSO truck models mounted with optional rear bodies for wide range of application. While the Fuso Truck Fair runs from July 10 to 15, promo discounts provided on the week long campaign will be valid until July 31st. Exclusive FUSO merchandising giveaways will also be given to customers who will register and reserve a unit or confirm purchase within the display period. Additionally, customers who will purchase any of the following models during the promo period will automatically avail the following discounts:

In order to claim promos and giveaways, customers must present proof of payment (reservation receipt, purchase order or sales invoice) to dealers. Giveaways must be claimed until 60 days after the display period.

For those planning to purchase a truck, now is your chance to get this much savings and perks! Visit any Mitsubishi Motors Philippines dealership nationwide from July 10 to July 15, 2017 to experience the FUSO Truck Fair.


EVAP pushes Congress to pass electric and hybrid vehicle bill

By Eric Tipan


THE Alternative Fuel Incentives Bill, which was authored and filed in 2011, was re-filed in 2013 but four years after it is still in limbo showing no signs of moving forward.

Now, the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) is pushing for some form of legislation to support and spark the growth of electric and hybrid vehicles in the country.

At the press conference of the 1st ASEAN Electric and Hybrid Vehicles Summit at the World Trade Center recently, EVAP President Rommel Juan said that tax incentives will attract more electric and hybrid vehicle manufacturers here and promote the use of these eco-friendly vehicles in the country.

According to Juan, as popularity of these vehicles grow, supporting infrastructure like charging stations will need to be put up, developing the industry even further.

For their part, the Board of Investments has granted the industry a six-year fiscal incentive and duty-free importation of capital equipment for manufacturing of electric and hybrid vehicles.

“If we don’t provide incentives (for the electric and hybrid vehicle industry), it’s not going to take off,” said Department of Trade and Industry Assistant Secretary Rafaelita Aldaba.

According to Aldaba, the first package of the comprehensive tax reform is aimed at promoting the use of electric and hybrid vehicles by exempting these vehicles from excise tax. (

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