Each year, there are over 1.7 million rear-end collisions in the United States.[i] Given this extreme frequency, and the body’s particular vulnerability to whiplash which starts at only 5 mph,[ii] it’s no wonder rear-end collisions account for 30% of all injuries and property damage[iii] in vehicle collisions. Since comprehensive damages for all car accidents total $871 billion annually in the United States,[iv] rear-end collisions have a substantial impact on the economy.
Such a high incidence of property damage, injury, and death have led auto manufacturers to actively pursue solutions to this grave and persistent threat. Studies revealed that most rear-end collisions are caused by distracted drivers,[v] and Daimler-Benz found that 90% of rear-end collisions would be avoided if the following driver had one extra second to react.[vi] As a result, manufacturers focused on making cars more attention-getting to compete with the many distractions on the road, thereby giving drivers more time to react.
Such a solution would have to be so consistently effective it would make drivers immediately pay attention. So it was based on survival instinct; when the brain senses danger, it immediately pays attention.
The result was the Adaptive Brake Light. It works as follows: when you brake urgently, Adaptive Brake Lights either get very bright or flash. The eye senses the change in brightness as a movement and thus as a danger, making drivers pay attention urgently.[vii] Since reaction time is most critical during urgent braking, Adaptive Brake Lights are extremely effective at reducing reaction time when it matters most.
Extensive studies have demonstrated this technology to be highly effective at stopping rear-end collisions. According to Mercedes, drivers stop up to 19 feet shorter as a result of a 200 ms faster reaction time.[viii] According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “current rear lighting is much less effective.”[ix] They went on to state that Adaptive Brake Lights can reduce total harm of rear-end collisions by up to 10.1%,[x] thereby saving billions annually in the United States, alone. Thus, several major manufacturers have made Adaptive Brake Lights standard, including Volvo,[xi] BMW,[xii] Mercedes,[xiii] and Cadillac,[xiv] and Formula One[xv] has made flashing tail lights mandatory for all its race cars.
Adaptive Brake Lights are a powerful solution to a devastating problem. However, they have only recently become standard and only in some vehicles. As a result, most do not have them, and aftermarket upgrades are impractical due to their high cost and their invasive, hard-wired installation. Thus, there has been no practical way to upgrade a car with this technology, until now.
Braking Bar is a completely wireless Adaptive Brake Light that any driver can install to nearly any vehicle in minutes. The sleek product weighs only 84 grams and attaches to the rear window, leaving your view unobstructed as it faces following drivers. It checks for forceful braking more than 160 times per second, and when forceful braking is detected, it responds by illuminating powerful LEDs in the most visible location on your car. These LEDs illuminate far faster than traditional bulbs and urgently get the attention of following drivers at the most critical times.
Installation is made easy by a strong, non-damaging adhesive, a self-calibration function, and a built-in accelerometer. Maintenance is truly minimal, as the batteries last for years, and robust construction handles even extreme conditions with ease. Additionally, Braking Bar is affordably priced at $179, costing less than many regular maintenances and routine car-related expenses.
Finally, Braking Bar is legal in all known jurisdictions internationally. The device exclusively uses the attention-getting patterns that car manufacturers and government organizations have found to be the most effective. Since Braking Bar has these modes built in, and can be adjusted at the flip of a switch, Braking Bar is both legal and effective on any road, anywhere.
People have much at stake when it comes to their vehicles—their money, their careers, their friends, their loved ones. Auto manufacturers constantly advertise the latest in safety technology, but such technology is often only available to a few vehicles. Braking Bar changes that, enabling families, individuals, and professionals to easily outfit their cars with cutting-edge technology.
For more information and complete details, please see the Research & Technical Document.
Estimated Price: $179
Battery Life: 2.5 years for average driver
With Mounts: 10.125 inches (25.718 cm)
Body Only: 8.625 inches (21.908 cm)
Weight (including batteries): 0.185 lbs (84 grams)
Operating Temperature: -40°F to 185°F (-40°C to 85°C)
Response Time: 20 ms
Illumination: 8 super-bright LEDs
Luminous Intensity: 270 cd
Intelligent Features: power-save, accurate brake detection, leveling function, self- Calibration
[i] National Transportation Safety Board. “The Use of Forward Collision Avoidance Systems to Prevent and Mitigate Rear-End Crashes. NTSB, 19 May 2015. http://www.ntsb.gov/safety/safety-studies/Pages/SIR1501.aspx
[ii] Bierma, Paige. “Whiplash.” HealthDay, 11 March 2015. http://consumer.healthday.com/encyclopedia/back-care-6/backache-news-53/whiplash-645903.html
[iii] National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Driver Attributes and Rear-End Crash Involvement Propensity.” Department of Transportation, March 2003. http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/809-540.PDF
[iv] Blincoe, Lawrence, Ted R. Miller Ph.D., Eduard Zaloshnja Ph.D., Bruce A. Lawrence Ph.D. “The Economic and Societal Impact Of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2010.” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, May 2014, p1. http://wwwnrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pubs/812013.pdf
[v] National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Assessing the Attention-Gettingness of Brake Signals: Evaluation of Optimized Candidate Enhanced Braking Signals.” United States Department of Transportation, May 2009. http://www.nhtsa.gov/DOT/NHTSA/NVS/Human%20Factors/Visibility%20and%20Lighting/TSF811129.pdf
[vi] National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Board Meeting: Rear-End Collision Prevention Technologies.”
United States Department of Transportation, 1 May 2001. http://www.ntsb.gov/news/events/Pages/Rear-End_Collision_Prevention_Technologies.aspx
[vii] Encyclopedia Britannica. “Movement Perception”. Encyclopedia Britannica Online, 13 May 2015. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/395223/movement-perception
[viii] Jones, Roland. “Will Flashier Brake Lights Reduce Accidents.” NBC News, 17 Feb 2006. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/11351634/ns/business-the_driver_seat/t/will-flashier-brake-lights-reduceaccidents/#.VVEYu9pVhHw
[ix] National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Assessing the Attention-Gettingness of Brake Signals: Evaluation of Optimized Candidate Enhanced Braking Signals.” United States Department of Transportation, May 2009. http://www.nhtsa.gov/DOT/NHTSA/NVS/Human%20Factors/Visibility%20and%20Lighting/TSF811129.pdf
[x] National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Traffic Safety Facts: Development of a Simulation Model to Assess Effectiveness and Safety Benefits of Enhanced Rear Brake Light Countermeasures,” United States Department of Transportation, June 2010.
[xi] Volvo. “Owner’s Manual.” pp142-143. Volvo, 2015. http://esd.volvocars.com/local/us/2015-Volvo-XC60-Owners-Manual-v1.pdf
[xii] BMW. “Adaptive Brake Lights.” BMW. http://www.bmw.com/com/en/newvehicles/x/x6/2012/showroom/safety_comfort/adaptive_brake_lights.html
[xiii] Mercedes-Benz. “Adaptive Brake Lights” Tech Center. http://techcenter.mercedes-benz.com/en/adaptive_brakelight/detail.html
[xiv] Cadillac. “Cadillac ATS Safety is Rooted in Avoidance.” General Motors. 22 June 2012. http://media.gm.com/media/us/en/cadillac/vehicles/ats/2013.detail.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2012/Jun/0622_ats.html
[xv] Formula One World Championship. “Safety Equipment.” F1 2016. http://www.formula1.com/content/fom-website/en/championship/inside-f1/rules-regs/Safety_equipment.html