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Basketcase's avatar

How would one sabotage a cell phone for safety reasons?

Asked by Basketcase (198 points ) April 2nd, 2009

My teenage daughter will be getting her driving license this week. Despite numerous warnings by her mother and I, unless her phone is turned off when a text message alert comes in she is distracted for a second and wants to see who the text was from.

While teaching her we have turned it off. But I know teens and know that when she is on her own she most likely will not have the discipline to do this and I want to find a way to just stop incoming texts completely during the time I know she will be behind the wheel. Once she drives we will not always be there to enforce her self-discipline.

I am now having nightmares about this. She is a good kid in every other way and I am not seeking to punish her. However I am considering even sabotaging the phone so she is forced to go back to the old type that is less distracting.

How would a person sabotage an iPhone without leaving evidence?

(Oh and yes- we have talked to her about this but texting appears to be an addiction with her generation.)

Thanks for any input- signed a Sleep-Deprived Parent

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9 Answers

dynamicduo's avatar

I understand your desire to approach this problem in the way you currently are. But I do not think it is the right way to solve the problem at all. She could simply get a replacement iPhone and be back to her texting ways, she could use a friend’s phone, she could even get a phone which is MORE distracting.

I strongly believe the solution to this problem lies in communicating with your daughter just how concerned you are about her texting while driving, showing her studies that demonstrate how texting is worse than drinking and driving, etc. You can also approach this issue as a requirement for accessing the car – make a condition that she can only use the car if she leaves her phone turned off in the glove compartment while she is driving.

The reason I discourage your attempts to sabotage the phone is twofold. First off, you are just throwing your own money away by breaking the iPhone. But the real reason is that with technology, the solution is never in limiting or denying access to technology, kids are smart and they can get around blocks or limits. If you truly want to have peace of mind, you need to feel confident in her judgment of not texting while driving, and this requires solving the problem with communication rather than with technological limits.

All parents have worries when their children start driving. My dad sure did, and made no attempts to hide his concern at all. It’s simply one of the first steps in becoming an adult.

A_Beaverhausen's avatar

you have given her all the tools to make the right decisions about safe driving. now let her take that infomation and make her own choices. im sure she is capable. no need to waste an iphone!

elijah's avatar

You can go online and see call logs, what time calls were made or recieved. I don’t know how to monitor texts though. The thing about iPhones (unless they are jailbroken) is that you can’t delete specific texts, you can only delete whole conversations. Say she has a text from jenny, it’s already in her phone with a timestamp. If she recieves one from jenny while driving, she would have to delete the whole convo, not just that one text. If you check her phone before she leaves and after she comes back, you can figure it out. The same with the calls, either she deletes them all or she deletes none. I guess you would run into a problem if she says she wasn’t in the car when the call/ text came in. I don’t think there is a reliable way to honestly monitor her. You just have to trust her. I am a parent to and will be dealing with this issue very soon. It’s very scary.
Just remind her how serious it is, and the consequences of her decisions. I don’t think it’s too much to ask, as it could save her or anyone else on the roads life.
Good luck :)

adreamofautumn's avatar

news
5 girls die in accident

I know you’re worried she won’t listen, but try passing these links on to her. Talking to her and really making her understand will be better than trying to sabotage her phone. I no longer text and drive as a result of the 5 girls story, and I have the nerve to cite the story to my friends when they are texting and driving when i’m in the car so that I can explain them that I am not comfortable with that. Truth is the stories are scary and she may not want to hear them, but seeing what can happen is one of the best ways to make her understand as far as I am concerned.

Good luck.

Basketcase's avatar

Thank you all for your rational and well thought out responses. You are all correct in that I must learn to let go and trust that she will make the right choices.

Parenting is really the hardest job I have ever had and has caused me the most pain and joy.

This being said I wish there was a technology that, while the key is in the ignition will BLOCK INCOMING TEXTS AND CALLS. (outgoing calls should be allowed for emergency purposes only)

I really appreciate all the input. and @adreamofautumn I will show her that article.

koldblue's avatar

I have been through this myself. Tough Love needs to be applied. I personally know of three teenage girls who have been involved in major accidents due to driving and cell phone usage. One rolled her car several times. Perhaps enter into a written contract with her, emphasize that driving and owning a cell phone is a privilage and not a right. Who is the one paying for these privilages ? Once she’s behind the wheel the phone is to be turned off. Not to mention cell phone usage while driving as a teen is against the law. Any violations of the contract results in suspension of these privilages. Let her know that this is not punishment or that you don’t trust her, just rules that have to be followed. Good Luck :)

asmonet's avatar

Whether or not you turn off her phone doesn’t change the fact that she’s a teenage driver.

If she can’t focus because of a slight beep, I wouldn’t give her a license.
Sure, she could get hurt in a wreck, but she could hurt someone else because of her need to read LOL OMG.

If she isn’t mature enough to grow up and ignore small distractions while operating a giant death machine, she shouldn’t be allowed to even look at one.

When she can prove to you in her PRACTICE for the real thing that she’s capable, she gets her license. The problem is not the phone, it’s your kid.

Since010501's avatar

You have the option to block text messaging all together on her phone if you believe she is not following the rules and driving safely. I’m sure this would not go over well with her-but it is for her and others safety.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I’m not suggesting this as it would be illegal… but… you can buy cell phone jammer for $279 and power it from the ignition lead in the car fuse box. When the car ignition is on, any phone in the car will have no reception (but will still read 4 bars). When the car is turned off it will work.

Set your browser to private viewing and google it.

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