Estimates say 6000 people are killed each year due to cell phone distractions, and 1.6 million accidents a year are caused by drivers texting or calling on cell phones (National Safety Council) . I just returned from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and one product announced last week really impressed me. TASER, the company that makes the electronic zappers that police carry, announced a new product called the Protector™ Safe Driver System. It’s designed to prevent kids from texting while driving, and if the system detects a text message being sent or received, it shocks the kid with 2500 volts through their car seat. Just kidding!!
Seriously, TASER’s new product disables cell phones to prevent distractions, especially texting, while the car is running. The phone can be locked down only allow making a 911 call, or programmed to allow incoming or out bound calls to select numbers, such as parents.
In addition to locking the phone, the Protector provides real-time GPS vehicle location tracking. At any time, parents can also review where the vehicle was on a certain day, and how long it was at each location. No more lying about going to the movies, kids!
Driving reports are also available to parents that include over-speed alerts, excessive acceleration or deceleration, and geo-fence alerts (boundaries parents set on a map that the kids are not supposed to cross). If the vehicle is in an accident, the Protector will SMS text and email the parent. Safe trip and good driver reports are also available so a parent can provide positive feedback as well.
An added bonus is the location tracking feature can be used to find a car if it’s stolen – or lost by the kid after a party…(remember “Dude, Where’s My Car?”).
There are other systems designed to prevent texting or restrict calling while driving, but this is the most advanced one I’ve seen. It sells for around $200 and there is a monthly service fee since the GPS and Bluetooth device mounted in the car is also a cell phone that sends the alerts and reports to the parent’s “dashboard”. The system does require a smart phone with Bluetooth since there is an application that must be loaded that locks the phone.
Although a 16 year-old may not want to hear it, this is probably the best gift a parent or grandparent could give them for their Sweet 16th.
Share this post: