Don't drive distracted.


That's the primary message from Car and Driver, and Chrysler Brand with today's introduction of the Txt U L8r free mobile application.


Txt U L8r is a free mobile app for handheld devices created to combat the dangers of texting while driving. Sponsored by the Chrysler Brand and developed by iSpeech® Txt U L8r automatically responds to text messages without forcing drivers to take their eyes off the road or their hands off the wheel.


How Txt U L8r works:


* When TXT U L8r is running on a driver's handheld device, the application sends a predetermined message back to the sender with an alert that the user is unavailable.

* At the same time, the received message is read aloud to the driver, ensuring he or she doesn't miss an urgent message.

* A paid upgrade of the application is available allowing the driver to respond back to messages with voice commands.


The development of Txt U L8r was prompted by a Car and Driver Texting While Driving Study that showed driver reactions times while texting were much worse compared to drunk driver reaction times. The study showed the time it takes to hit the brakes when sober, when legally drunk, when reading an email and when sending a text.


* When unimpaired, it took drivers an average of 0.54 seconds to brake.

* When legally drunk, it took an additional four feet to brake.

*  When reading an email, it required an additional 36 feet to bring the car to a stop.

*  When sending a text, another 70 feet was required to brake.


The problem of texting while driving, coupled with the results of the Car and Driver study, were the primary reasons why the Chrysler Brand chose to officially sponsor the Txt U L8r application.


Chrysler Group LLC was the first automaker to establish a corporate policy that prohibits its employees from texting while driving company-owned vehicles and texting with company-provided communication devices while driving personal vehicles. Chrysler has implemented this policy to promote safer driving behaviors and to serve as an industry example.


The company takes a further step by enabling its employees to download the Txt U L8r application to their company-owned communication devices.


Currently, the Txt U L8r app is available for Android and Blackberry users. You can start the download process for both phones here.