15-year-old develops anti-sleep device for drivers after dad, brother died in accident

A 15-year-old girl, Mary Manu, has gained a reputation for her exceptional intellect and innovative thinking.

15-year-old girl Mary Manu

Her insatiable curiosity led her to explore various fields, but it was a personal tragedy that sparked the creation of something extraordinary.

She has developed an anti-sleep device for drivers to prevent accidents on the road.

The teenager said that in 2019, on the Aflao-Tema highway, she lost her father in a terrible head-on collision after a sleepy driver carelessly hit his car.

Narrating her ordeal on Joy Prime, Mary said, "I lost my dad in a road accident. The report said that the driver who caused the accident was dozing off. My father was traveling from Togo to Ghana with a few friends. A car was speedily coming towards their car. They tried to dodge the car, but unfortunately, the car collided, and that’s how my father sadly passed away."


Mary stated that she was deeply affected by her father's tragic death, adding that due to the accident, it was difficult for her to focus on learning in school.

She said, "After I heard the news of my father's tragic death through an accident, I decided to stop schooling because my father was my favorite person in the world, and without him, I'm nothing. When I go to school and see my friends' dads bringing them to school, I start to cry, or I decide to pick up my school bag and go home. It hasn't been easy since I lost my dad. It's been 3 years, but when I see other people with their dad, I still feel sad."

Two years after her father's death, Mary said her seven-year-old brother was also killed by a speeding vehicle. This incident deeply resonated with Mary, sparking a profound desire to pursue a career as a surgeon. In her view, realizing this dream is not just a professional goal but a source of profound happiness, as it would provide her with the opportunity to save lives.

Mary, together with her colleagues, immersed themselves in research, studying the science of sleep, driver fatigue, and existing safety measures.

With a mix of passion, determination, and a touch of teenage resilience, she unveiled her creation—the anti-sleep device.


She said, "This device alerts drivers when they are dozing off while driving. It has an eye blink sensor that coordinates the eye and detects when the driver is dozing off. It has a buzzer that beeps to wake the driver up from sleep. If the driver fails to wake up, the device has been designed and programmed to automatically slow the vehicle down and send the driver’s GPS location to an emergency contact."

"I promised my mom that I would never allow anyone in my family to go through that again. I want to achieve this to help everyone who wants to be operated on to be free from injuries so that we can promote healthy living so families can live together without losing any of their loved ones through accidents," she stated.

A total of 1,086 people died in road crashes from January to June 2023. The number is against 1,300 people who also died during the same period in 2022.

This information was contained in a report on the road traffic crash and casualty situation provisional statistics for January to June issued by the Motor Transport and Traffic Directorate (MTTD).

Also, 7,807 people were injured in the period under review, as against a total of 8,007 people who got injured from January to June in 2022.



Unblock notifications in browser settings.

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: