Hot Springs dad invents product that keeps teens from texting and driving
HOT SPRINGS (KATV) - With texting and driving being the number one killer among teens, parents have every reason to worry about their kid's safety. But this Hot Springs dad decided to take some action and invented a way to keep his kids from becoming a statistic.
"Most of the accidents you see occur with a one-word text," said Ronnie Rucker, an inventor. "It's just that one moment to look away that causes the problem," he said.
Rucker decided to find a solution to this epidemic.
"We're going to be able to have text messages sent the parents if they're texting and driving," he said.
Rucker's device connects a teen's phone to the parent's through a transmitter in the car. Anytime a text is sent while driving at least three mph, the parent is notified.
"It is snowballed so fast we can't keep up with the demand," said Ronnie Vanderslice.
Not only will this product let parents know when their children are texting and driving, but also when they're not wearing their seatbelts.
You'll get a text message to let you know when your loved one's seatbelt isn't latched and an LED light will let other drivers know if the seatbelt isn't in place.
Rucker's daughter says both the Seatbelt Guard and Text Traveler have helped her make changes when she drives.
"I did text and drive I don't text and drive anymore," said Holly Rucker, Joe Rucker's eldest daughter. "I would love for it to be put on my son's car," she said.
It's an idea that started with a father's concern for his children that's bound to save other lives.
"Once it goes nationwide I believe every car in five years is going to be mandatory that this product will be on it," said Vanderslice.
But Rucker says his goal is ultimately to change the mindset of today's drivers, especially teens.
"If we can change the way they think, I promise you, we can save their lives," said Rucker.
Rucker is already working with over two dozen superintendents to get his product out to local high schools.
He plans on hiring an additional twenty-five employees to meet the demand for his product. He currently only has eleven employees.