Teens develop app to eliminate distracted driving through point system

Posted at 9:11 PM, Dec 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-05 00:15:14-05

You hear about texting and driving and might immediately picture a teenager behind the wheel. However, that’s not always the demographic responsible.

"I see a lot more parents texting and driving than I do teens on the road im like that's a little scary," said 12th grader Andrew Wheeler. 

According to data, cellphones are involved in nearly 1.6 million auto crashes each year. After working with local police officers and surveying more than 150 parents around Treasure Valley, this group of teens discovered 60% of people they spoke with admitted to texting and driving.

They put their graphic design, coding and business strategies together to create an app called 'Clutch' that rewards you for staying off your phone. 

"So, essentially a user will turn on their phone then the app and put down their phone while they’re driving, and its able to sense when a user is going over 15 mph,” said business developer of Clutch Lili Serio.  

Their goal is to eliminate all distracted driving, but focusing on parents means teens might make better choices. 

"They have a huge potential to pass on this habit of texting and driving and we’re already so connected to our phones, kids will just see that relationship their parents have with their phones and develop one themselves,” said 12th grader Koko Yee. 

They’re currently working with the Idaho transportation department to get their app off the ground and onto the road. In January they're heading to D.C. for a national transportation conference. These entrepreneurs might be young, but they’re launching into the business world to keep the roads safer. 

"It's  just when you stop doubting yourself but it’s just when you stop doubting yourself and when you start saying I can do this instead of im too young for this," said 12th grader Ethan Ellis.