14-year-old hopes prototype against teen distracted driving becomes newest life-saving tool

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URBANA, Md. (FOX 5 DC) -- A 14-year-old boy from Urbana believes he may have a solution for distracted teen driving.

Right now, Amogh Kashyap's invention is a cutout cardboard box wrapped in foil, poked with a hole and inside of it is a tiny little camera but the young inventor says that the tool would alert parents of young drivers any time their teenage daughter or son isn't paying attention to the road.

"I created an idea after a friend had been in an accident," Kashyap said, "So, I thought, 'What if I created a device that could help avoid distracted driving?'"

It's only a prototype, but Amogh created a coded program where the camera mounted near the steering wheel or on the dashboard can track a driver's attention by monitoring which direction the driver is facing.

"So let's say a friend is in the car and they're playing around," explained Kashyap. "Rather than looking at the road or they are looking at their phones, it will text you (the parent or guardian) that they are not driving properly."

For some parents, including Kashyap's mom and her friend, the idea could be the tool they said they need to help keep their future teen drivers safe.

"If this device could potentially save even a couple of lives that would be a great achievement for us," said Archana Kashyap.

"We are used to as adults with driving on the roads for so many years," said Lakshmi Darbha who twin teenagers. "And we have an instinct, but I think they haven't developed that instinct yet."

Jeanette Tejeda de Gomez with AAA Mid-Atlantic said that according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 1,000 people are injured and nine people die each day in crashes involving a distracted driver. Crash risk doubles with as little as two seconds of looking away from the road.

Kashyap said that his invention doesn't just stop here.

"One thing I hope to do is to create like a live stream so you can see what they are doing at any moment," he said.

The teen said he hopes to take his invention to the Department of Motor Vehicles or car insurance companies to see if his invention is something they would be interested in investing.