Safe Ride

By: Allan Maman

Wellness , Techie

Cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6-million crashes each year, which is 64% of all road accidents in the United States! According to the National Safety Council, texting while driving is 6-times more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk! 

Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic on America’s roadways — and it is a widespread problem for teens and young adults especially. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), ten percent of all drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes. Additionally, drivers in their 20s make up thirty-eight percent of the distracted drivers who were using cell phones in fatal crashes.

While cellphone use is causing 1.6 million crashes each year, the National Safety Council (NSC also estimates that texting while driving raises the likelihood of a crash by eight times, and that crashes involving texting or talking on a cellphone (hands-free or handheld) account for 27 percent of all accidents.


(INFOGRAPHIC: developed by

I came up with the idea for Safe Ride in my Health Class, when we were looking at statistics of texting and driving. I learned:

  • 91% of the U.S. population owns a cell phone and that texting has become the dominant form of communication for Americans
  • 11 teens die every day as a result of texting while driving
  • 21% of teens involved in fatal accidents were distracted by their cell phones
  • teen drivers are 4x more likley than adults to get into car crashes or near-crashes while talking or texting on a cell phone

With smartphones growing at such a fast pace, the deaths & injuries would only increase. When it comes to “texting and driving” I identified two likely scenarios:

(A): youth drivers are blatantly texting and driving because they do not fully understand (or believe) how distracting and dangerous it is; thus a problem of EDUCATION

(B): youth drivers are responding to texts because they just can't stand having someone else texting them and not replying; thus a problem of CULTURE.

When I looked at both scenarios, I considered a "locking" method which could be added to their phones, but decided most teens would reject that idea. Instead I thought, “okay, I can make an automatic reply system!” So I quickly checked online for apps and found most were extremely buggy and confusing. So I decided that If I could simplify everything to just a simple button, that would be a key solution to this problem. 

Safe Ride is a mobile application that allows users to focus on driving and letting the application respond for them. When the application is toggled on before driving, the user can set any destination and any text message that is received, the app will automatically send back a response. Thus, allowing the driver to not worry about responding and allowing them to be assured that they aren't being seen as ignoring their friends or family. The application's automated response will look along the lines of "Hey, I am driving at the moment. I will try to respond to you ASAP." In future versions, our team is set out to make the response editable and will use GPS to detect that users location and include in the text message so it can automatically be set off.

  • I'm a 16 year old serial entrepreneur who loves innovating and being myself. I was born in the United States and I'm currently living in Westchester, New York. I created an app about a year ago called Safe Ride. I was the only founder and Safe Ride is meant to prevent texting and driving. It does this by automatically replying to a text, allowing whoever is texting you to know that you are driving.

  • I'm a high school junior with a passion for art, music and entrepreneurship.


Advice for my peers

My advice for my peers is: “If you have the idea, execute it” If you have an idea or you want to be something, start working to get there. We always say yeah "I'm going to do this and I'm going to do that" but do we really? Time does get pretty short soon and try to live your life with having the least amount of regrets. I am much more comfortable with saying "I'm really glad I did that" compared to saying "Man, I wish I could've done that.”

LEARN WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW: It's the 21st century and there are so many resources that can be accessed for free. I would recommend watching keynotes & talks about entrepreneurship. More importantly, reading books about creating a business will help so much. "The more you learn, the more you earn"

NETWORK: If you are able to get your name out there and people can remember you as the "15 year old" who is creating an app, it will help so much in the future. With there being so many resources to connect, you are going to end up meeting atleast one impressive person. Try to connect with others on Linkedin/Twitter and make yourself impressive.  In terms of real life networking, try to look up entrepreneurship events and or book signings that have relevance to entrepreneurship. 

DON’T LET A “NO” STOP YOU: I applied to get on the show, Shark Tank, and made it through to the final stage before I was cut. Had I made the show, I think it would have really helped sky-rocket user adoption, but my app was still successful, and ended up getting some press coverage from

MAKE SURE YOU ARE ABLE TO SEE THE BIGGER PICTURE: Often times people make decisions on impulse, decisions that can determine parts of their future. I would suggest that every now and then if you are working on something, take a step back and look at the bigger picture. How will this help people long term, how will it help you as an individual etc. 

TIMING: I cannot stress this enough when it comes to people and time. The way I like to think about it is if lets say you work 5 hours a day every day at your average job. Now you have the ability to work another 5 hours but you're satisfied with going home early and your 2 week vacation a year. Now imagine if you work 10 hours a day. What you would have achieved in 1 year before, you have just achieved in half of that. Again, this is completely hypothetical and there are many other factors to consider but just knowing that principle should really show kids that hustling is what matters. 

THINK LIKE A CHANGE-MAKER: I first started thinking like a change- maker at a very young age. Now I don't know a specific age but I always knew that I didn't want to be some average kid. I wanted to be able to make more of a change when I was older compared to just getting a regular paying job working for someone. I was inspired to create my first "business" mainly for two reasons. 1. I wanted to feel the experience of it and 2. Money. It may sound greedy and all but as soon as people start realizing exactly what money can do, that will lock in their motivation. 

LEARN HOW TO MAKE MONEY, HONESTLY: Simply put, a charity cannot run to its full ability without money. Anyways, my first "business" was re selling fake 'Beats by Dre' headphones in 6th grade. Small disclaimer, all of my customers had full knowledge that they were fake but the quality was actually very similar if not better. So simply put, this first "business" was inspired by money. However, I do believe that if you do good things, the money will come. This specific first business did not have any direct support. In fact, I kind of kept it low-key with my parents and eventually broke the news. Then my school found out and called them and I had to "stop" it then. 

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