Technology, the ever advancing field, that provides the solution to even the most complicated of the world’s problems. With the crisis that is distracted driving, currently sweeping the globe, why has technology not been implemented to reverse this? Law’s have proven to be ineffective when it comes to teens responding to messages on their phones while driving, so it is time for another approach. We already have the technology to keep teens alert while driving available, it’s used in most cars every single day, in fact it’s used each time you start the car, it is the warning received when the seatbelt is not buckled. My proposition is we modify this technology to work within a steering wheel cover, or the steering wheel itself, where sensors detect the pressure/grip of both hands. If both hands are not detected then an alarm is triggered, prompting the both annoying and loud warning from the wheel or wheel cover, noting that two hands are not on the wheel. Now it must be taken into consideration that people like to drink and or eat while driving, so the device would have a built in timer, set to about 5 seconds, before it would alert, allowing just enough time for a sip of coffee or a bite of a bagel, but not enough time to reach for, check, and respond to a message. In older cars the seat cover would be implemented since they would not have the advanced steering wheels, but in newer cars, that are loaded with technology, the wheel could even cause the car to decelerate after 8-10 seconds of failure to correspond with the alert. This technology has been proven to work effectively in cars with seatbelts, it could work the same way for distracted driving. If a person can’t take their hand off the wheel long enough to check a text without getting an obnoxious warning, the rates at which people check their phones will significantly decrease. When driving people want to enjoy themselves and a big part of that is listening to music, the warning from this device would be loud enough to disrupt their song causing them to address the problem, which in this case would be their distracted driving.
This device would act in the same way as a car’s seatbelt warning system. When two hands have not been on the wheel (or steering wheel cover, for older cars) for a period longer than about 5 seconds (allowing for drinks or bites to eat) then an alarm would blast, shifting the drivers attention to the problem, which is the distraction. This alert would cause them to become aware of the consequence of distracted driving, which to them may not be the dangers, but rather the loss of their music, or (in newer cars with advanced technology) the deceleration of their vehicle.