Hazard lights – which serve as the only available warning beacon for disabled vehicles – were invented in 1951 and have not changed since. That’s seventy years without innovation, and studies show the rate of deaths and injuries is getting worse every year.
Driver behavior is part of the problem. But the single greatest reason for these tragedies is our reliance on last-century equipment that does not effectively communicate with other drivers and vehicles.
Emergency Safety Solutions (ESS) is working to eliminate disabled vehicle crashes with its new intelligent emergency communications feature for stationary, distressed vehicles called the “Hazard Enhanced Location Protocol,” or H.E.L.P.™ for short.
The regulatory compliant H.E.L.P. solution provides two forms of highly effective communication to make your disabled vehicle more visible: (1) highly conspicuous emergency-based lighting output, and (2) digital notifications sent to oncoming vehicles via GPS-based mapping applications.
These features deliver advanced warning to oncoming traffic -- giving approaching drivers minutes, not just milliseconds, to more safely respond to the disabled vehicle.
NFL Legend and ESS Spokesperson Joe Theismann with an important message about the dangers we all face when our vehicle becomes disabled. Hazard lights haven't changed since their introduction 70 years ago and are woefully inadequate when it comes to protecting stranded drivers on our roadways. But the good news is H.E.L.P. is on the way.
The effectiveness of visual clarity is driven by an optimized combination of flash rate, light volume, color and intensity.
Dozens of empirical Human Factors studies conclude that driver perception improves with higher emergency hazard light flash rates. For example, a recent study at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) found that higher-frequency flash rates dramatically increase perception of urgency. The graph displays flash frequency against three dimensions of visual clarity – discomfort glare, annoyance and urgency. This finding is reinforced by studies conducted by NASA’s Ames Research Center.
In addition to providing a long-range visible beacon to oncoming drivers, ESS H.E.L.P. also deploys a digital signal upon activation of the hazard lights.
That signal is detected by emergency information systems and retail navigation applications, alerting all other drivers who are running a navigation application that there is a hazard ahead.
This visual and digital alert system provides drivers with plenty of advanced warning to avoid disabled vehicles on the road ahead, and will safeguard the lives of those in the disabled vehicles.
Click here to view a comprehensive evaluation by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institution of the ESS H.E.L.P. Hazard Lighting System
The true cost of crashes involving disabled vehicles can be devastating. When these crashes lead to fatalities, they rob us of our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, spouses, grandparents, friends and more.
Meet some of the people behind the statistics.