Ignition interlock devices which detect blood-alcohol levels in order to ensure that a driver is not intoxicated before getting behind the wheel are getting more and more popular as more states pass laws that encourage, or mandate the use of these devices in cases of drunken driving. At this point, nearly every state in the US has a law on the books which requires ignition interlock devices to be installed when a driver is convicted of a DUI violation with a high BAC-level. The interlock devices, which are commonly installed at a local auto repair shop, have greatly decreased the instances of drunken driving while allowing DUI convicted drivers to retain access to a motor vehicle.
Now, it looks like some companies are trying to further the success that has been seen with interlock devices that monitor alcohol intoxication. One company, OrigoSafe, is announcing a device which would work much the same way that the alcohol-monitoring ignition interlock devices do–except this one is designed to discourage cell phone use while driving. The device includes a cell phone dock that requires a driver to put their cell phone into the dock before they can drive the vehicle and then sounds an alarm and records the incident if the phone is removed while the car is driving.
Some might say that this is going a bit too far, but studies have shown that distracted driving (which is largely caused by cell phone use) has caused a large number of fatalities in recent years. The statistics have even been alarming enough to cause some states to ban cell phone use while driving altogether. It should also be noted that this device does not preclude the driver from using the hands-free function of the phones to make and answer speakerphone calls.
States like New York which already have laws banning cell phones while driving, may be interested in these devices and it could become common practice to mandate their installation when a driver is found to have caused an accident because of cell phone distraction. The practice would likely see the devices being installed at auto repair centers and your local auto shop could soon do more than just fix your car–becoming a place to install a whole variety of safety ignition interlock devices to ensure safety on the roads. The alcohol monitor ignition interlock devices already are bringing substantial side business to many auto repair shops. Don’t be surprised if these cell phone devices are available at your local auto shop sometime in the not-so-far-off future.