Photo courtesy of Smack Innovations.

Photo courtesy of Smack Innovations.

Startup Smack Innovations has begun offering RITW SafeConnect, a distracted driving system that clamps onto a steering wheel and works through voice commands and a few buttons to access the user's phone and installed apps, keeping the driver connected without risk of distracted driving, according to the company.

This automotive aftermarket product allows users to check their Facebook, answer and make phone calls, dictate and hear text messages, email, review sports scores and local weather, play music, or find the location of nearby restaurants or inexpensive gas stations, while never taking their hands off the wheel or their eyes off the road.

"Truthfully, even though we know the risk, we all want to be connected to our phone while driving and are tempted to use it," said Gregor Hanuschak, founder of Smack Innovations and former Lead for Commercial Space Partnerships at NASA Headquarters. "My purpose in developing RITW SafeConnect was to safely merge the real world use of a smart phone with driving in an affordable product that looks good and is easy to install. This product does not rely on a screen that takes your eyes off the road. It is by far, less distracting than expensive add-on or OE installed connectivity devices, easier to use, and seeks to work with EVERY app on your phone."

RITW SafeConnect retails for under $100, is compatible with Android, and does not require a monthly subscription fee. Simply clamp SafeConnect to the steering wheel and connect to your phone for immediate connectivity. A deluxe model is available that offers additional features designed to combat driver fatigue or hypnosis that can occur from driving for extended periods of time. This video shows the Deluxe model in action.

Smack Innovations entered SafeConnect into the SEMA 2017 Launchpad and was selected as one of the top semi-finalists for product innovation as an automotive aftermarket startup. The company also was nominated for an award co-sponsored by Time Magazine, CNN, Fortune Magazine, and Science Magazine for "The Most Innovative Work of the Greatest Likely Long Term Significance" through the World Technology Network.

Smack Innovations is now taking pre-orders for RITW Safe Connect and the Deluxe model. From Feb. 1 to 22, SafeConnect can be purchased for $69.99 and the Deluxe model for $149.99 through the crowdfunding site Indiegogo. After the campaign is completed, the price will go up to $169 and $249 respectively. All pre-orders will be fulfilled by spring 2018.