Tuesday 21 February 2017

How this Irish schoolgirl's app invention will stop you falling asleep at the wheel

Greg Harkin

Published 24/11/2016 | 02:30

Aoife Kearans with the wireless device which could save lives. Photo: James Connolly
Aoife Kearans with the wireless device which could save lives. Photo: James Connolly

An Irish schoolgirl has invented an app which could save hundreds of lives on our road.

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Aoife Kearans, a 17-year-old student at Ursuline College in Sligo, came up with a device which alerts motorists that they risk falling asleep up to half an hour beforehand.

It's estimated that 20pc of road fatalities here are due to drivers falling asleep at the wheel.

Read more: All-Ireland road deaths average nearly 600 per year since records began in 1959

Aoife's invention is a world first and she's waiting on a patent. She hopes it will be installed in all cars in future.

"I was doing coding during my TY year and wanted to develop an app that would have beneficial social consequences," she said. "I looked at what else could be done in relation to road safety and believe more could be done about deaths caused by drowsy driving."

Aoife discovered the body temperature drops by between 1C and 1.3C before someone falls asleep.

Her app is programmed so that if the driver's core temperature drops it causes their phone to beep, warning the driver.

Irish Independent

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