It is estimated that 100 children are killed and hundreds more injured each year* by cars backing up. It's a problem with seemingly no solution for the millions of people who back out of their driveways and onto busy streets each day. But a new innovation —a Lazy Susan of sorts —could change that. It's called the "CarTurner."
Bill Schwenker, president of CarTurner explains.
How did you come up with this innovation?
"This came about when the city of San Diego put a retaining wall next to my driveway and made it very dangerous to back out. I looked around for some sort of turntable and only found very expensive ones - $40,000 and up. Then i saw a lazy susan, and I thought I could modify it. I went, literally, to some rocket scientists, and they worked it up."
What's CarTurner all about?
"It's stainless steel, assembles in about 3 hours, and plugs into an outlet like a garage door opener. Push the button and you're headed straight out, instead of having to back up. Backing out into a busy street is the same as backing down a busy street, which is very dangerous, not to mention illegal. You cannot back over a kid if you're not backing up. Not to mention cats and dogs."
How much does CarTurner cost?
"We sell them for $8,700 delivered and installed. That's for the non-skid model which has great traction when wet. We also have a mirror finish for car shows that's about $10,000. The prices of homes and cars have gone up so dramatically. Spending this kind of money for this level of safety is a bargain. And you can always build more house, but it's hard to build a bigger driveway."
Are they selling like hotcakes?
"We started selling them in July. Out here if you have a $2 million home, you call your architect, so we have a lot of architects buying them. Car dealerships are buying them too."
Was it as simple as it sounds?
"I did this myself. It was developed by a salesperson — I am a salesperson. It's a straightforward product, meant to be sold and bought. It's easy to install, designed so any part can be replaced in minutes, absolutely safe, nothing sticks up above ground, no sharp edges, has a wireless controller and it's inexpensive."
* Kids and Cars, a nonprofit organization, maintains a national database tracking deaths and injuries to children left unattended in or around motor vehicles. Currently no federal or state agency is collecting information related to deaths and injuries that occur as non-traffic incidents on private property.