Is Simply Discouraging Distracted Driving Enough?
Photo by Alexandre Boucher on Unsplash
You may know that I have an app called Rehearsal® Pro that helps actors learn their lines. In a nutshell, you record your scenes, and then you rehearse over and over again until you have the lines down cold.
Now, I know that the actors that use my app “stay fresh” on their way to whatever event they’ve been preparing for, like an audition, or a stage rehearsal, in the car, with the app. We allow the app to connect to your car’s Bluetooth, and we recently added a Car Play Mode similar to what the Audible app has.
When I sent out a note to the Rehearsal® Pro users that this option was now available, I wasn’t expecting such a huge barrage of thank you and kudos for making this mode an option.
Nor was I expecting one commenter who was anything but grateful.
Hope this helps!
Raw YouTube Captioning
Hey there, it’s David H Lawrence the 17th. And you may know that I have an app called rehearsal pro.
And where is a pro is an app that helps actors learn their lines Explorer there scenes manage their auditioning and
I have it up here on my iPhone so you can see it then. I’m just going to put it on the screen for you.
What you’re looking at here is the my scenes list and I’m going to just tap on seen one. This is actually is.
I seen that I auditioned for about a month ago.
And if you notice at the very bottom, this is the script, but if you noticed the very bottom there’s a toolbar.
and if I wanted to play this script
Look, how does 10 million. So it’s playing its playing but the controls are really really tiny. The pause button is Tiny.
The play button is Tiny. The timeline scrubber is Tiny even the stop button over here is tiny.
I know that people.
In their cars on the way to auditions in on the way to work.
And I don’t want them trying to find those tiny little controls that are easy to find if you’re not driving, but if you
are driving there not.
So if you look at the very top of the screen, you’ll see a little car icon and then you tap on that.
What pops are new carplay interface which means you got big huge buttons and it’s very simplified controls.
There’s no scrubber. There’s no nothing. You can hit play.
Pause and you can fast forward 10 seconds, and you can rewind 10 seconds.
And then you can disable carplay mode and that’s carplay.
and the reason that we did it is because I know people
They’re going to do this. I can’t stop them from doing it. So I sent a note out. Once we had this in the app. I sent a
note out to the
to the user base
And I said hate, you know you we already connected Bluetooth. We want you to stay safe. I know we can’t stop you from
So we try to make it a little bit safer and I was not prepared for the onslaught.
Of thank you. Oh my God. This is so much better. I didn’t even know this existed. Yes all the tiny icon at the top of
I also I also.
I also wasn’t prepared.
For I know what I got from a Jason Thomas who wrote me and said hello, David.
I’m quite dismayed at how irresponsible this email is.
I know you’re trying to tell people to be safer when using the app while driving hence the car play mode. However.
Any distraction is still distracted driving and can still cause accidents that kill people.
It doesn’t matter how large the buttons are or how little script is visible. You’re still in couraging people to break the
And be unsafe if you’re telling them to use their phone while driving.
Well actually in California if it’s hands-free it’s not illegal and there’s no difference between tapping one of those
controls and tapping the the controls on the radio or the GPS or whatever. It’s not holding it up to here, which is
I really wish you would do the right thing and encourage people to simply not use the app at all while driving.
Your solution is only a Mild improvement but the reality is more app developers need to take a strong Zero Tolerance
When it comes to using phones while driving.
Far too, many people are killed every year by distracted drivers as you yourself if it has indicated have indicated.
That’s what I put in the note that I sent out. The people that I saw the story and it prompted us to do this story of
distracted driving in a Dyson you just horrifying
As I said any distraction is still a distraction and it’s still dangerous. I think it’s horribly irresponsible of you to
condone using any app.
No audition or gig in the world is more important than people’s lives. And I think we can agree that we actors can be
rather self-focused at times.
Yeah, I agree. That’s why I did this as a developer of an app that could play into this trade. It’s a shame you didn’t
take this opportunity to present.
A stronger stance and simply tell people never to use your app while driving.
I’d actually love to see you build in functionality that blocks the app all together while driving not making it easier to
Something like the Do Not Disturb while driving feature that Apple has built into their phones.
Anything short of that ultimately makes you part of the problem.
12 years when I wrote back. I said Jason I so appreciate your comments and make sure you share your feelings with Audible.
As their players car mode and request from my users.
Who were far more distracted trying to Target those smaller controls on the timeline?
We’re putting them at greater risk and prompted us to add this feature.
I feel it would have been more indefensible to ignore the problem entirely the fact that I know about it makes a
difference and once the audio is playing there’s also not much interaction with the app because it just repeats over and
over and over again.
Actors are going to use the app when driving no matter what I tell them to do.
I’d rather hit they have a set of controls that more that’s more suited to large Target operation.
like their radio
So this sort of argument is a great one. I wish that people wouldn’t do that. I see people all the time looking at their
phone talking on the phone. I wish they wouldn’t do that. But this idea of having a minimal interface and a big huge
Target so you can see it with your peripheral vision.
This would apply to the built-in radio in your dashboard your GPS.
Checking the individual menus and updating the the Paddlewheel, you know, some people have little paddles on the backs of
their steering wheels.
Your tire pressure your miles per gallon all those things on the menus.
Looking at your speedometer.
And I know you wouldn’t want me to tell people to stop doing that stuff, right?
Maybe you do. I don’t know.
But here’s the thing.
I know full. Well what my users do.
I can’t avoid the fact that I already know what they do and I can’t ignore what they do. I can’t stop them from doing it.
and I thought that
the best possible option in terms of responsibility
Was to create an interface that they could invoke while driving.
That made it safer for them to do what I know they’re going to do. I mean if you’re performing your watching this video.
Tell me what you do on the way to an audition.
Be honest, are you going for your script? Sometimes you have the script as a piece of paper and you’re picking it up and
you’re looking at it while you’re sitting at a traffic light or sometimes while you’re driving, please don’t do that.
So I know that that’s the case and I should have said don’t do this in.
the email that I sent out to everybody telling him about this interface, but I had a feeling
That it would fall on deaf ears.
And the truth of the matter is that because I know this behavior is pretty prevalent. I decided to do what I could
How about mitigating the potential Danger?
I actually have somebody right now you say you know, you played yourself out for legal issues. And you know, I can’t I
can’t worry about things like that.
I try my best to make things safe and I could have done nothing.
And just you know that because I do it and others do it it gets done.
So but I do appreciate the fact that she is as concerned as I am about distracted driving and I hope you are too.
I’m sure that there’s I mean it anymore. There’s no family. That’s not been touched by this kind of thing.
Drunk driving distracted driving, you know buzzed driving.
It’s just it’s horrifying and here’s what I’d like to know.
Given what I told you tell me what you think.
Would have been the best course, what would you have done?
Would you have created this interface and told people about it?
Would you have made the app unusable on the way to an audition which is kind of like.
the most actors of very critical very anxious time
I can only imagine what the reaction would be from actors. If I said yeah, you can’t use the app on your way to the
Or on your way to work. We won’t allow it in the car.
I don’t know. I don’t know what people would say, but I’d like to know what you would say. So if you’re not watching this
on BO2 gogo.com pop over to go to google.com. Leave me a comment.
below the video
What are your thoughts on this? What would you have done?
And if you want to subscribe to my YouTube channel and get notice when new videos pop up.
I’ll go ahead and click on my head there. There’s no head look for a subscribe button. You want to see the latest video
that I’ve produced go ahead and click on that frame and YouTube will play it for you.
I’m David H Lawrence xvii. Please. Be safe.
Thank you for watching these videos and I’ll talk to you tomorrow.
We all have so much to get done every day, and we really need to be able to work on the way to our destinations, and be safe while doing so. The obvious solution is for Congress to mandate a free personal chauffeur for everyone, to be available 24x7x365. (I’m a little worried some legislator might see this and think it’s a great idea.)
Seriously, though–kudos to you, David, for making the improvement.
There is also the truth that just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you SHOULD. Creators of conveniences are not responsible for the behavior of their invention’s users. As a regular highway commuter for many years, I’ve seen people doing everything from reading a fully open newspaper to eating breakfast cereal–bowl, spoon and all–while driving. Obviously, the New York Times and General Mills aren’t responsible for such foolishness. Moreover, if a newspaper publisher came up with an app that read the news out loud, it would be heralded as a boon to safety for busy drivers (while also being loudly denounced by the radio news industry, incidentally).
I agree with your viewpoint in this video. It’s great that you made the app safer. Thanks for the video David 🙂
AMA Question: Do you have any plans to make Rehearsal Pro for Android?
I had no idea that the car mode was there until this video. I feel it will make my drives to auditions safer because there are only 3 BIG buttons!
Not available on Android
No, it’s not.
Hi David. I completely understand your point. One suggestion though, if I may: I think the solution might be in the CAR icon to access this mode. What about calling it “easy mode”, or “easy access”, or “simple view” or whatever you think is good and simply replacing the car icon for another one that you think illustrates that mode. That way, people still know what it does and will probably use it in their cars in a safer way, but you’re not directly suggesting that they use it while driving. Hope you like this idea =)
Yeah, tough one. I may have called it something else, as Javier mentioned, as even using the app on a bus or train presents some challenge at times.
What I do: I set my app to play while parked, and yet sometimes a phone call will interrupt the play and not allow it to continue unless I prompt it again. In Canada, we are not allowed to touch a phone at all. The law does not consider it like a radio. Some people get charged for having the phone in sight, or in reach, even though they may not be touching it.
But the safety aspect, and having people lose their lives because of someone’s “need” (it’s not a need) to “connect” (and it’s not truly connecting) is disastrous. And it is not your responsibility. You have made your position clear. People will do what they do, and they will not do what they will not do.
To those affected, which include me (friends Chris and Margaret), my heart goes out to you.