Safe Driving Systems: Prevent Mobile Phone Distractions

December 29, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
It's against the law ... but you've probably still done it or been tempted to do it. Texting ...or talking on the phone while driving. That type of distracted driving causes half a million accidents and kills more than 26-hundred people in this country every year.Reggie Shaw wants to teach English and coach basketball. He's a normal college student, except for one thing. In 2006, Reggie was driving and texting. He drifted across the road and hit a car head on.

Shaw said, "That car then spun behind me and was hit by another car, and two men were killed on impact."

A 'Key-2-Safe-Driving' system would have made Reggie's mistake impossible. Developed by civil engineers at the University of Utah, the two-part system blocks texts and phone calls if the car is running.

Mike Fahnert said, "When it's in safe driving mode, phone calls are allowed to come in, but they immediately go to voicemail. And texts come in, but they're cued up and you're not made aware that either of those are coming in."

The device encloses the car's key and connects wirelessly to the driver's phone using Bluetooth. Once the key is in the ignition, the device sends a signal to the phone putting it in "driving mode." All texts and calls are held until the car is turned off. In case of emergencies, drivers can call 9-1-1.

Reggie thinks Key-2-Safe-Driving may have changed his life. He said, "I look back and, who knows? If I had the device like that, it'd save people's lives ... changed my life."

He said the 50-dollar system is priceless, if it keeps people from texting and driving.

You can reserve a "Key-2-Safe-Driving System" now.

Right now, the current version is compatible with Windows phones, but safe-driving systems said other phones will be available soon. Another perk ... insurance companies that have heard about the system are already talking about premium cuts of seven to 20-percent.


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