A nifty new device out this coming year is an ignition key that stops a teen from texting or talking on her cell phone while driving.
The University of Utah has developed the key and hopes to have it on the market within 6 months. The key will cost about $50 to buy and then a monthly fee will keep it activated.
Teens texting and phoning while driving is a common practice. At least one in ten teens are texting or calling on their phones at any given time and any driver doing this is 4 times more likely to have an accident that drivers who simply drive. The leading cause of accidental death for a teenager is a car crash.
AAA estimates the cost of vehicle crashes involving 15-17 year olds to be in the neighborhood of $34 billion.
Once the car is on, the special key will send a signal to the phone to disable it. A message will be heard by callers that will explain the cell phone owner is driving and will return the call at a safer time. The device can distinguish when a teen is a passenger in the car, or the driver.
The cell phones will work however, for 911 calls or other pre-approved phone numbers. Pre-approved by the parents, probably.
What do you make of this new device? Is it infringing on teenagers rights or do you think the potential safety benefits will be worth it? Would you buy one?