Melissa Gerbrandt, a sixth-grade teacher from Manitoba, won a new Honda Fit after successfully conquering her texting-while-driving habit.
Gerbrandt’s improved driving habits were monitored by Texi—a phone app that keeps watch over how frequently you use your phone while driving, and rewards drivers for resisting the urge to text-and-drive.
It took Gerbrandt, 26, two months to quell her habit of texting behind the wheel with the help of the app, reports the Toronto Sun.
“I always used to feel like I was missing out if I left my phone behind,” said Gerbrandt.
“When you start the habit of having your phone on you, it’s hard to disconnect … I was very persistent with it. Quitting cold turkey doesn’t really work.”
The Texi app works by detecting if a driver touches their phone while their vehicle is travelling over 7.5 km/h, and it gives points to those who go phone-less for their journey. If a driver lays a finger on their phone before their vehicle comes to a stop, the app will deduct all points for that trip.
“It will not reward you for touching your phone,” said Rosita Chakardan, director of the Dilawri Foundation, which developed the app as a philanthropic endeavor.
“On the Android, any incoming texts receive an auto-response with a fun meme. Along with the meme, it says that so-and-so is driving right now, so your contacts are aware you’re driving and you’ll get back to them.”