A new automobile ignition key can prevent teenagers from talking on cell phones or sending text messages while driving. The invention, by researchers at the University of Utah, is called Key2SafeDriving and is aimed at cutting down on road deaths. It relies on Bluetooth technology to wirelessly connect keys to phones. Since a major factor in safe driving is to avoid distraction, this device has great promise. If it works, it will provide a simple, cost-effective solution to improve driving safety. Since motor vehicle accidents are the fifth leading cause of all deaths in the country, inventions like this one are most welcome. Among teens, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death.
Studies have shown that driving while talking on cell phones is as dangerous as driving drunk. Several states have banned phoning and texting while driving, particularly for novice drivers. It’s been said that cell phone distraction causes 2,600 deaths and 330,000 injuries in the United States every year. Provisional patents have been obtained by the university and it has licensed the invention to a private company that hopes to see it on the market within six months at a cost of less than $50 per key plus a yet-undetermined monthly service fee.
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