Categorized | Social Entrepreneur

You never know when you may save a life! Social Entrepreneur Karen Klayman

What do you do when you see someone driving slow? How about a little erratic? Are they drunk? What is it with them? Do you lay on your horn? ‘Get out of the way you #@*!#@!*! ‘ Is that you? Or someone you know?

What do you do when you find out that they are a new driver with their parent? Do you feel really bad, and slump down in your car? Do you wish you knew that they were just starting out, that they are a STUDENT at the wheel®?

Karen Klayman started STUDENT at the wheel® over 2 years ago based on her love and concern for children and their well-being. And because that situation happens all the time, doesn’t it? One day at least 10 people came up to her complaining about how people were so rude to them when their kids just starting out. Having two boys that just went through ‘learning to drive’ she knew all about those challenges and thought that she could make a change, and help these young people.

‘Driving should be a fun and pleasurable experience. You shouldn’t be worrying about the person in back of you and what they are doing (like passing you on the right, crossing solid lines, driving really dangerously and aggressively), your eyes should be on the road. Distractions come from more than texting and driving, which is just terrible that people do that. Distractions for many young people come from those around them, and in their car.’ says Karen.

The roads are a dangerous place. Contributing factors include the sheer volume of cars, trucks, and buses, and just how reckless and rude are so many of these drivers?

Compound these facts with new driver inexperience and we end up with some gruesome statistics. 25% of all accidents are teen-related (over 1 million / year) and in 2007; every day approximately 17 of these teen crashes were fatal.

Behavior is also a factor. In a recent study over 50% of all teens said they drove with someone who was drunk or high.

Driving is also a freedom. And as Karen said, it should be FUN. It is a privilege, and a huge responsibility. One that too many people take for granted and abuse. For young people it can be a key to a job, visiting their friends, and some really good times.

Many kids today are not getting their drivers license on time, they are waiting. Sometimes it’s their parents who hold them back in fear. I’ve must have met at least 50 teens that have told me they DON’T WANT to get on the road. They HATE HOW OTHERS drive, they are afraid for their lives.

What is interesting is who is buying STUDENT at the wheel®. Face to face more than half our sales are to teens. In fact teens account for most of our web traffic, and they are responsible for our last 4 designs.

Where else can you find a Pink Zebra?

We really expected Parents would be buying STUDENT at the wheel® and saying, “put this on the car or you can’t drive”, which we hear does happen. But so many times it is the kids telling the parents that they want it. They want to feel safe. ‘I want this so much, I’m calling my Mom so she buys it for me…’ That sentiment is echoed week after week.

Karen’s goal is to have the distinctive trademarked logo as recognizable as a handicapped symbol.

Here are some more comments from face to face interactions:

“STUDENT at the wheel® works great. People give me more room and stop tailing me” – 18 yr old Teen Boy

“I wish STUDENT at the wheel® was available when I started driving. Everyone would ride up right on me and flip me off” – Female age 25

“This is so people don’t bother me when I’m driving? Okay Mom, get me a pink STUDENT at the wheel® and let’s get 2 for the Sweet 16’s coming up as gifts” – Female age 16

“I like the design, I don’t want my car to look like a school bus” – Male age 18

“If STUDENT at the wheel® makes it easier for me to drive by myself, then I’m putting one on my car” – Male age 17

“I know I’m a good driver, I’m getting STUDENT at the wheel® so other people just back off and let me drive” – Female age 19

“I love the colors and the logo. They are bright and distinctive. It looks good on my car” – Female age 17

“The way people drive around here, I won’t let my son drive without STUDENT at the wheel®” – a Dad

“My daughter is driving and I’m slapping STUDENT at the wheel® in 3 spots on the car when we go out” – a Mom

“What a great idea. When I was 16, I was petrified. I was like ‘Man, leave me alone, I’m 16, I’m doing the best I can.’ “– College Athlete age 20

Here are some comments that have come in from people online:

“My daughter freaked out when she saw it (Pink Zebra) she begged me to buy it, and now has told all of her friends.” – a Mom

“I think your idea is terrific. I wish all student drivers used these; there are so many impatient drivers on the roads anymore…I am teaching my second child to drive right now and wish I had thought (of this) with my first. I am looking forward to receiving it. Great idea!” – another Mom

On TV Peter Bonacum, a concerned Dad from Bucks County Pennsylvania, said to a CBS reporter that ‘You never know when they (STUDENT at the wheel® magnets) may save a life!’

But what if Karen had never acted on her idea? If she just came home and said, ‘Gee that’s a shame’, instead of ‘We can do something to make this better!’

How many people sit around talking about ‘they should fix this’, ‘they should fix that’? Well people, ‘they’ is us. The only one that can affect social change is you. Got an idea? Follow through.

Do you know how many people ‘invented’ existing products? ‘That was my idea!” How many times have you heard that one? Or said it? Well having the idea, and acting on it are two different things. You have to have the drive and motivation to start, fail, start again, fail again, and keep going until you succeed. Napoleon Hill writes “Without persistence you will be defeated. With persistence you will win.” Or in other words “Quitters never win, and winners never quit”.

Here are the thoughts of a 20 something year old male that just graduated college: “STUDENT at the wheel® is more than just a magnet, it is a tool that new drivers can use to help prevent dangerous driving and possible accidents on the road. Keeping kids safe is the goal of STUDENT at the wheel® and by creating a product that allows others to see that it is young children driving; will give them the incentive to demonstrate better driving habits and promote others to follow in their footsteps.”

Help Karen help young people. Tell your friends about STUDENT at the wheel®. Visit the STUDENT at the wheel® page on Facebook, online at, on , at a store location, or by calling 1-877-647-1266

The more cars we can all get this on, the more lives/property we have the potential to save.

STUDENT at the wheel® is a proud member of NOYS, the National Organizations for Youth Safety. For program information visit NOYS online at

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