HOUSTON, Texas - (June 2, 2021) – Every seven minutes on U.S. roadways, a disabled vehicle is struck by an oncoming motorist. The results are devastating: 72,000 people affected and 15,000 killed or injured each year, at a cost to society of nearly $9 billion.
These preventable collisions happen because oncoming drivers don’t see the disabled vehicle until it’s too late to react. Minor issues like flat tires, fender benders or engine trouble put occupants and Good Samaritans at great risk of being struck by passing traffic.
Emergency Safety Solutions (ESS) (www.ess-help.com) is working to eliminate these types of crashes by creating awareness of the issue and deployment of a new intelligent emergency communications feature for stationary, distressed vehicles called the “Hazard Enhanced Location Protocol (H.E.L.P.TM) through an aggressive outreach campaign called “Get Noticed. Get HELP.TM” – www.getnoticedgetHELP.com.
“Our mission is to increase awareness of the highly preventable deaths and injuries from these crashes among drivers, government organizations and the automotive industry. And ultimately, to equip all new vehicles with the lifesaving H.E.L.P. safety feature to help eliminate the tens of thousands of accidents involving disabled vehicles each year,” said Stephen Powers, COO of ESS.
Hazard lights – the only available warning beacon for disabled vehicles – were invented in 1951 and have not changed since. That’s 70 years without innovation, and studies show the rate of deaths and injuries is getting worse every year.
Driver behavior is part of the problem. An even bigger part is our reliance on last-century equipment that can’t communicate with other drivers and vehicles.
ESS is currently working with automakers to bring H.E.L.P. to market. The technology combines intelligence, highly visible emergency-based flash rates of the vehicle lighting, and digital notifications sent to other vehicles and 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.
The “Get Noticed. Get HELP.” campaign rolled out on Memorial Day weekend, traditionally seen as the kickoff to the “Summer Driving Season”
“Despite fewer people commuting during the pandemic, roadside crashes involving disabled vehicles remained high,” said Powers. “As more people hit the road this summer, this problem won’t go away until we take significant steps to ensure that people who are stranded on the side of the road get noticed much earlier by oncoming drivers.”
Emergency Safety Solutions, Inc., creator of the H.E.L.P.TM (Hazard Enhanced Location Protocol) solution, is focused on saving lives by helping to eliminate hundreds of thousands of preventable accidents globally involving vehicles that are in an emergency, disabled or stopped on the side of the road.
H.E.L.P. is a regulatory-compliant intelligent safety communication system that protects occupants of disabled vehicles and good Samaritans who assist them – providing more advance warning to drivers of potential threats on or near the roadway.
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Craig Keller Lisa Gill
ESS Communications Marx Buscemi Eisbrenner Group