By Sharlyn Petit
Teen drivers are facing more distractions than ever these days. Along with cell phone use, dozens of other distractions take a driver’s focus away from the road and hands off of the wheel.
A trio of young entrepreneurs has set out to help teens become better drivers with their invention of the SMARTwheel™.
The “smart” steering wheel cover uses sensing technology to encourage safe hand position and gives real-time feedback in the form of lights and tones related to common distracted behaviors. Drivers are alerted when hands are off the wheel, both hands are adjacent, or one hand is off the wheel for 3-4 seconds.
For the parents of a teen driver, the SMARTwheel™ delivers driving stats via Bluetooth to a smartphone app. A report card with a safety grade, along with charts and graphs, allows parents to track trips and see driving habits improve over time.
The idea is to use the data for teachable moments to help prevent accidents before they happen, and to give parents peace of mind knowing their teen is focused on the road.
The teen inventors recently launched their product at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show and have set up a crowdfunding campaign for support through Indiegogo.
What do you think? Would you install one in your teen’s car? What about using one for your own driving?