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Kickstarter Protects Law-Abiding Drivers From Distracted Driving

Here’s what’s always bothered me: pretty much every means we have of preventing distracted driving relies on the distracted driver to do their part. Crash avoidance systems require the distracted driver to buy them. PSAs require the distracted driver to understand the consequences and care. Police tickets require the distracted driver to get caught and fear the penalty…This all sounds unreliable, and based on the accident statistics, is very unreliable.

As an engineer who loves to drive, I looked into what else manufacturers were doing to solve this problem and realized there’s a technology literally designed to get distracted drivers’ attentions. It’s called an Adaptive Brake Light (Emergency Stop Signal in other countries) and it flashes/gets very bright upon forceful braking.

Yes, a solution! But there’s one problem…You need a new car to have the technology. I tried having one installed aftermarket on my Volvo but it was $500 and that was steep. So, using my engineering degree, I built an aftermarket brake light that you can literally stick to your rear window. It’s that simple.

I wanted to share this project here because it seems like the only forum dedicated to exactly the problem I’m dedicated to fixing.

Thank you!

I like the idea.

I think the battery powered version is going to be problematic. People will never know when the batteries have run down and the light is off. Furthermore, the back-flash glare from the glass could be distracting since you aren’t shielding it.

May I suggest a variation? A piggyback plug-in circuit with built-in accelerometer for the center-high-mounted-stop lamp and LED lights. or one for each taillight stop bulb. No batteries, slightly more difficult installation but once in, its forever.

Thanks for checking it out! The plug-in version is a cool concept. There are a few of those which are very doable for people with electrical/DIY experience but a bit intimidating for the average driver.

Also, back glare hasn’t been noticeable in testing since Braking Bar is only in the rare circumstance you slam on the brakes (when you’re focus is most certainly elsewhere). Batteries last for 2.5 years so they don’t need to be checked too often, and it warns you when batteries are a few months away from depletion

Yeah, I get that. It is not nearly as DIY friendly.

Maybe consider adding a “push to test” light feature so the owner can test the batteries periodically and maybe adding a sealing skirt around the light so that it can shroud the glare off the backlight.

I don’t mean to be picky, but you DID ask… $179 seems a bit pricey given the components required to make it work. I’d estimate less than $20. I can buy backup camera systems with a camera and display screen for $129. I’d guess it could be copied, much like the expando-hoses, and your price undercut by the very same companies you’d likely hire to build it.

Good luck with it.

@DailyCommuter - I think you need to delete the link from your post. No advertising here, no matter how well-intentioned.

How’s a kickstarter going to make the roads safer? Unless you’re saying the typical unsafe motorist isn’t strong enough to kick-start an engine. Frankly, I don’t know if I’M strong enough to kick start an engine of >3L displacement.

@Mustangman There’s no doubt that the product can be made in China much more cheaply, especially at scale. Unfortunately, since no company has made it, it has to cost a more but it’s also made in USA so the knockoff risk is reduced. I’d like to be able to manufacture it cheaper but that’s only possible with enough orders (or funding!) Thanks for the tips!

@texases Sorry about that! Thanks for the leeway–just removed.

@meanjoe75fan haha

Just a quick Google shows there is already a kit out there.