It’s no secret that a distracted driver is a hazardous one. In-car mobile phone safety technology manufacturer Zoomsafer has announced an extension of its existing software named VoiceMate that allows drivers to audibly send and receive emails and text messages while keeping their attention focused on the road ahead.

Zoomsafer initially launched as a service disabling mobile phones using a combination of GPS information and cell phone towers to determine if a phone is in a moving vehicle. The software, aimed at solo users, parents and fleet owners, offers a host of options ranging from completely blocking all calls to auto-replying to calls and texts messages advising that the owner is currently driving.

The VoiceMate augmentation audibly alerts a driver when an email or text message is received from prioritized contacts and by touching a single key on their phone drivers can listen to and respond to messages using their voice. Similar to existing services like MOBIVOX, VoiceMate negates the need for the user to manually type their response allowing them to stay focused on the road.

Or, at least, a little more focused. Recent studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal that a driver is still four times more likely to have an accident if engaged in phone communication whether hands-free or not. However other studies demonstrate that technology like VoiceMate drastically reduces the likelihood of an accident when compared to traditional handheld communication.

Zoomsafer is available as a one-time subscription of US$25 or for US$2.99 per month, while VoiceMate is available for US$3.99 per month or US$40 per year.