Gautier man invents device to curb distracted driving

Gautier man invents device to curb distracted driving

Police say the tool is a step in the right direction. (Photo source: WLOX News) Police say the tool is a step in the right direction. (Photo source: WLOX News)
JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

Although only in its alpha stage, Drive Smart has the potential to make roads a lot safer.

Ross Muller designed the prototype after being involved in a serious accident.

"The gentleman that hit me was a young driver who I believe was distracted by his phone, so it sparked my interest," said Muller, who then decided to find a way to curb distracted driving among young drivers.

After two years of trial and error, Muller came up with an idea that utilizes something in almost every car - the cigarette lighter.

"It's just a 12-point inverter. They're very common when you use cell phone chargers or radio detectors," Muller said. "It's pretty much that right there, but it'll emit a Bluetooth signal."

Once fully operational, Drive Smart would make it so that once a driver turns on the ignition, their smartphone loses much of its functionality.

"Once the drive smart device is powered on, it'll lock the cell phone. The only two things you can do on the cell phone is make an emergency phone call, or call the parents home phone," Muller said.

Law enforcement officials say the idea could aid in cutting down on distracted driving.

"It's a step in the right direction any time you can get a device to help with the young people to avoid having wrecks and fatalities. It's a plus for us," said Lt. Calvin Hutchins of the Pascagoula Police Department.

Drive Smart is currently in the patent process. Muller plans to exhibit the invention to potential distributors at a conference later in the week.

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