Can This 24-Year-Old's Startup Prevent 86 Percent of Traffic Accidents?

Coming soon: "safe driving system" technology to keep track of your business's employee-drivers, as well as that teen in the family car.

learn more about Anna Johansson

By Anna Johansson

Shutterstock

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Though convenient, automotive transportation can be deadly. Over 35,000 people lost their lives in traffic accidents in 2015 (the last full year available), and more than 30,000 fatalities occur annually.

Related: Is America Too 'Safe' for Innovation? Or Will Driverless Cars Ever Have Their Day?

Prevention is is an area where businesses are active -- with some working to create autonomous vehicles that eliminate human error altogether, and other, perhaps more practical, startups, striving to assist business owners, teens and other drivers to curb their driving mistakes, some of them fatal.

Certainly, autonomous cars are nice, in theory, but a number of logistical and legal hurdles are preventing them from becoming a practical reality. Nor is their widespread adoption likely any time soon.

But, what if a new app and technology could prevent up to 86 percent of traffic accidents altogether?

Enter ITFT

Innovative Technology for Transportation (ITFT) is a North Carolina-based company, currently in its crowdfunding stage, which has designed a Safe Driving System, (SDS) whose up-and-coming app and technology is designed to prevent speeding and reckless driving.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has calculated that 94 percent of all traffic accidents are attributable to human error, so the Safe Driving System is designed to reduce those errors through controls and notifications that limit driver behavior.

Compatible with any car manufactured since 1996, the Safe Driving System will be targeted primarily toward teenagers (and their reasonably worried parents). When the SDS is installed, parents will receive alerts whenever their teens drive over a designated speed threshold and when they make it to their destinations safely (or, less happily, when an accident has occurred).

Related: Driverless Cars Won't Make Roadways Perfectly Safe

The technology, however, also applies to businesses: It will be available to employers to keep track of their company vehicles and employee-drivers.

Plus, individuals can use the SDS to gain a better awareness of their personal driving habits and to block distracting apps on their mobile devices (while they retain access to necessary phone and navigation functions).

ITFT is further working on a "panic button," designed for integration with ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft. If pressed, the panic button will simultaneously alert local authorities and force the vehicle to come to a stop, while recording video and audio of the scene. Then, the door will automatically unlock, allowing the passenger to exit safely. The button will be available for both drivers and passengers.

The competition

ITFT isn't the first company developing technology designed to help drivers and prevent traffic accidents, but it is one of the only solutions capable of issuing both speed and reckless driving alerts. Zubie, for example, was designed as a GPS tracker for teenage drivers, but can't alert parents when their teenagers are going over the speed limit.

Instead, its technology is designed to send alerts when the car goes over a manually set speed. Hum, by Verizon, works similarly.

Almost every solution now on the market will come with a monthly or yearly fee, usually in the neighborhood of $10 per month.

The founder

The founder of ITFT, Matthew Godley, has said he was inspired to create the system after experiencing the deaths of community members in traffic accidents. Still relatively young, Godley, now 24, has assembled a team of engineers, innovators and advisors to help make his vision a reality.

Start Engine

Currently, ITFT is listed on Start Engine, a crowdfunding website designed to help entrepreneurs meet their fundraising goals with the help of the general public. Until the offering deadline of April 2, 2017, investors can purchase up to 100,000 series B non-voting common shares of the company at a price of $10 per share.

The future of accident prevention

Chances are, the SDS is just the beginning of a new wave of technology aimed to help control traffic accidents in this country. Some companies are targeting the improvement of vehicles, with higher safety standards, automated elements, and in some cases, full autonomy. However, the other side of the equation is the driver: Until autonomous cars become reality, controlling driver behavior is the best tool available for limiting traffic accidents.

Related: This Startup Aims to Make Sure Driverless Cars Don't Run You Over

The more we learn about our own driving habits and the driving habits of our loved ones, the fewer risks we'll face in our daily commutes and adventures. And while our dashboards currently provide us with baseline information to guide our operations, new technology like the SDS will help us alter our behaviors and motivate us to drive more responsibly.
Anna Johansson

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

Freelance writer

Anna Johansson is a freelance writer who specializes in social media and business development.

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

Have More Responsibilities at Work, But No Pay Bump? Use This Script to Get the Raise You Deserve.
Black and Asian Founders Face Opposition at All Levels — Here's Why That Has to Change
Personal Finance

8 Fun and Fulfilling Ways to Retire by Age 50

Early retirement is a real option that more people are pursuing. You can do this if you are willing to work hard.

Thought Leaders

5 Small Daily Habits Self-Made Millionaires Use to Grow Their Wealth

We've all seen what self-made millionaires look like on TV, but it's a lot more subtle than that. Brian Tracy researched what small daily habits these successful entrepreneurs adopted on their journey from rags to riches.

Living

Invest in Yourself: 10 Things Every Working Woman Should Do This Year

When striving for success, it is easy to forget about your mental and physical health. But without health, you cannot fully succeed. Follow these ten lifestyle strategies for success in your personal and professional life.

Marketing

6 Ways to Wring All the Value from Your Earned Media Coverage

Press coverage can help your brand gain visibility and increase credibility — but not if no one sees it. What can you do to get more value from the media placements you've worked so hard to earn?

Growing a Business

The Best Way to Run a Business Meeting

All too often, meetings run longer than they should and fail to keep attendees engaged. Here's how to run a meeting the right way.