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Report Bad Drivers with Your iPhone

written by: Elton Gahr•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 7/11/2011

There is nothing more frustrating than a bad driver. That person who is willing to risk everyone's life so that he or she can get home five minutes earlier. Part of the frustration is how little can be done. DriveMeCrazy gives you a way to record that driver or search for other bad drivers.

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    Having driven for a living for a number of years I became extremely aware of just how important having good drivers on the road can be. Accidents are almost always caused by people driving dangerously or aggressively, even when no official cause can be found. DriveMeCrazy is an app that also recognizes that and gives everyone the opportunity to improve the overall driving on the road. While flagging people in the system may not mean a lot to the authorities it does create a record of good and bad driving and hopefully it will encourage people to be a bit more careful.

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    Basics of DriveMeCrazy

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    When you start DriveMeCrazy you’ll be given two simple choices -- good or bad driver. If you click on either of these you will be given the option of entering the license plate number. Once you have done this you will be able to leave a message, look up their record, rate them or even tweet about them on Twitter. This gives you the opportunity to make your opinions on other people’s driving far more public.

    The other half of the app is searching the records of DriveMeCrazy. You can put in a license plate to see if there is anything on it, though the odds are good that there will not, as yet, be anything on any specific license plate you enter. More interesting in general is the best messages. This allows you to listen to the most interesting comments on other drivers. These won’t be relevant to you, but they are fun.

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    Interface and Safety

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    One of the most important items for an app which is designed to help make driving safer is to ensure that the interface actually makes driving safer. If DriveMeCrazy were to cause distracted driving it could easily create the problems that it is attempting to help solve. To overcome this it uses audio for most of its options. This means that once you decide between the good and bad driver option you can enter the license plate without having to look at the screen and leave an audio message in the same way. This is generally understood by the app (at least as well as most services of this type) and so makes it very easy to enter the information.

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    Drive Me Crazy Search There are three ways to search the Drive Me Crazy app. The first and the only one likely to find you anything specific is the license plate search. In this way you can put in any license plate and if it is in the system you will find information on it. You also have the option of pointing out that it is you or following the driver so that you can hear more about them. If you have kids who drive your car, or some other reason to keep track of a specific driver, this could be very useful, otherwise, though, it is unlikely to be all that important.

    Far more entertaining is the ability to search the best messages. There are a limited number of these, but it gives you a few ideas of the types of messages people leave and generally it is entertaining to read, if also very limited right now.

    The final option is to look at the most recent things which have been put in. This can be a good way to see the type of things that people are putting into the system and what bothers them. It can also, if you’re lucky, be a way to find people who are entering information near where you are at.

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    In the end DriveMeCrazy is a social networking app and like any social networking app it is only as valuable as the people who are using it. If you are in an area with a lot of people entering information into Drive Me Crazy then you’re likely to find a lot of information. If, on the other hand, there are very few people, then this is limited and even susceptible to abuse as the entire system is based on the honor system. Still, it is a free app and if following your child’s car to ensure they are driving well helps make you feel more comfortable it has a good value.

    In addition, being able to tell everyone about that horrible driver that just about caused an accident at least gives you an outlet for the frustration, even if it isn’t likely to solve all that much on its own. Overall the app works well and the more people who use it the more valuable it will become.

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