The problem of teenagers on mobile phones while driving is rife in the US and elsewhere where rebelliousness is the norm and a misguided sense of immortality rules. So while nagging and advice may not work, technology can surely be used to curb and control the use of technology. The use of mobile phones has been found to be one of the main causes of traffic accidents alongside alcohol and speed.

What is the best way to prevent motorists from using the mobile phone when they are behind wheels? Awareness campaigns and law have done much but technology is a more effective and surefire way to ensure compliance. A group of US inventors have come up with a computerized car key that prevents mobile phones from functioning once it is inserted into the ignition. The specially designed key, Key2SafeDriving, sends a signal which blocks calls and SMS messages automatically.

Other uses of technology include the “MyKey” device launched by Ford Motor Co which allows parents to control the driving speed of their teenage children, ensure that the driver puts on the seatbelt and limit the loudness of the car stereo to minimize distraction. Other carmakers use technology which prevents engines from starting if motorists do not pass a dashboard breath-alcohol test or a reaction-time test on mobile phones.

The trend towards road safety is evident and technology can play a vital role to minimize fatalities on the road.