Texting and driving is an insane issue in the United States. When cell phones first came out it was not as much as a problem, but now with more people being glued to their phones police are starting to crack down. For a first offence in New Jersey you can now expect a ticket ranging from $200 -$400. A second offence can range from $400- $600, and a third offence from $600- $800. That is a lot of money for doing something that can wait a few minutes until you reach your destination. And if your text is that important you can pull over and answer it and then get back on the road. I also find it crazy how not every state has outlawed texting and driving yet- it is an insane issue and it causes so many accidents every year. I believe that within the next few years every state will ban texting and driving and make penalties even stiffer. I mean, it is a really good way for states to make quick money on tickets.
One thing that is very shocking to me is that they do not have many inventions to prevent people from texting and driving. A couple of weeks ago I was watching the show “Shark Tank” on ABC. It is a show where someone goes in with an invention or business and gets one of the 5 entrepreneurial “sharks” to invest in them. There was a group of high school kids who invented a steering wheel cover to try and prevent texting and driving and this is how it worked. There are certain hand positions which would trigger the steering wheel cover to buzz and transmit a signal to the parents via phone or email. But if you take one hand off the wheel that triggers it, if both hands are at the top of the wheel it trigger it and if both hands are at the bottom of the wheel it triggers it. Interesting right? So what happens if you are like me and you drive with one hand most of the time? What happens if you take your hands off the wheel or move them at a red light? This invention was clearly not thought through enough. Especially since a driver can just take it off every time they drive and their parents will not be able to do much about it. Needless to say the sharks shot down their ideas and obvious flaws.
Another invention that exists is the “Key2SafeDriving” program. It is software that connects from the engine key to the driver’s cellular device. When the key is turned and the engine is turned on a signal is sent from the key to the cell phone via Bluetooth. When this happens it makes the cell phone unable to make or receive texts and calls. All incoming calls go straight to voicemail and a message is sent to them that tells them the person is driving. Also, a stop sign is displayed on the screen of the cell phone. I think this is a very innovative invention. It is really a choice of whether or not you want to eliminate the possible distraction of texting and driving, there is no consequence- it will not send a message to our parents, it simply blocks call and text from coming in or out which I think is really good. But at the same time what happens if there is an emergency? Does the user need to pull over and turn their car off to use their phone? Or if you dial 911 will it still go through? This is really the only potential problem I see with this device. Also if you are using your phone navigation to get somewhere it probably would not work which is another feature I think they would have to work on.
Obviously no invention is perfect, especially when it comes to inventions for texting and driving. Inventors need to go over every possible aspect and think of all the possible issues that the device could be faced with. But in the future I hope there are inventions to prevent texting and driving because I think it is something that is an issue for people all over the world. Maybe in the future there will be some sort of anti-texting and driving device installed into every car but as for now the future of this issue is very unclear.