Tristan “T.J.” Evarts is 19 years of age and credited with inventing the first smart steering wheel that focuses on undistracted driving by encouraging safe hand position. With more distractions than ever while driving, drivers’ hands are not remaining on the steering wheel, where they should be. SMARTwheel (Safe Motorist Alert for Restricting Texting) gives real-time feedback that cautions drivers of any age if it senses any distracted driving behavior. If a driver takes one of their hands off of the wheel, sensors are activated. Should the sensors be activated too often, a text message is sent, presumably to a parent advising of the driver’s carelessness. The device is now patented.
Teamwork and the Message
Evarts had help from five teenage girls who helped him work on the device. The invention of the SMARTwheel was only the first step. They’re also dedicated to making other teens aware of how dangerous driving and texting is through their DUIT (Driving Under the Influence of Texting) campaign at www.dontduit.org. We at Horn Law encourage you to share the website with family and friends.
With an appearance on the television show Shark Tank, the teens are hoping to raise $100,000 for their SMARTwheel technology. In return, they’re offering a 15% interest in their company. Before vehicle air bags were mandatory, many people were taught the ten o’clock and two o’clock steering wheel hand positions. However, at this hand position, deployment of an airbag can throw the driver’s hands directly into their face. SMARTwheel warns drivers if their hands are off of the nine o’clock and three o’clock positions. At those positions, should the air bag deploy, their hands are far more likely to be thrown off to the sides.
Distracted driving is driving while engaged in another activity that diverts your attention from driving. The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) advises that nine people are killed every day in crashes involving distracted drivers, while another 1,153 are injured. The CDC relates that the three types of distracted driving are visual, manual, and cognitive. Texting while driving is particularly dangerous as it entails all three of these. In 2011, nearly 20% of all accidents were related to distracted driving. More than 171 billion text messages were sent or received in the United States in 2012.
Although distracted drivers fully realize the dangers they’re creating by their distracted activities, they continue to participate in those activities day after day. Passengers state that they feel more at risk when their drivers’ attention is distracted. As highly respected and successful personal injury attorneys in Kansas City, Horn Law as successfully litigated countless distracted driving cases. Distracted and negligent driving just can’t be excused. Our focus is exclusively on personal injury. If you’ve been hurt by the carelessness of a distracted driver, call our offices or fill out our online contact form now. You deserve compensation.