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Road Safety

Motor vehicle accidents are the single highest cause of death for young people - and the dangerous practice of texting while driving is on the rise among teens and young adults. Textecution is an Android app that parents can install on their kids' phones. It's designed to shut down all texting functions - sending and receiving - if the phone handset is moving at more than 10mph. It's a flawed solution, but a first step towards combatting a very serious issue that's only going to become worse as smartphones proliferate. Read More
The Spira three-wheeler is a unique vehicle. It's one of the finalists in the Automotive X-Prize but its frugal fuel consumption and low emissions are only part of the vision of making it a car for the people. The Spira starts with a scooter, uses everything but the frame, and all those parts bolt into a foam composite tub to create a lightweight (137 kg) three-wheeled two-seater with immeasurably greater crash protection for the occupants. Gizmag visited the Spira's home in Thailand to drive what inventor Lon Ballard hopes will become a machine for the people, and came away mightily impressed. Read More
Taiwan's Dosun Solar Technology has added a flashing LED bike pedal to its range of safety lighting gadgets. As well as sporting the familiar orange reflective plastic strips on the front and back, each outer corner of the J-1 Pedal Light holds four bright LEDs which start to flash when the rider begins to pedal. Read More
Taking driver-assist technology to the next level is the “Smart Stop” system currently in development by Mercedes Benz. The wireless safety system, which allows intersections to communicate with vehicles, would automatically cause a car to stop at a red light should a driver fail to heed it. Read More
City cycling is an activity fraught with danger but cyclists’ safety can be enhanced by increasing their visibility and also by signaling their movements to fellow road-users. Options such as the Safe Turn Indicator help in that department but now there’s a new product called the Spooklight that could achieve the same feat without the need to strap LED lights to your wrists. Read More
The first automobile crash in the United States is said to have occurred in 1896, in New York City, when a car crashed into - surprise, surprise - a bicyclist. Even today, despite the introduction of reflective gear, helmets and lights, cyclists are still very vulnerable, particularly at night. Enter LightLane – a clever concept that uses lasers to project a virtual bike lane on the ground behind and around the cyclist. Read More
When Mercedes-Benz produced its last safety demonstrator car back in 1974, it showcased exotic new technology like airbags, head restraints and seatbelt tensioners - things which have become almost ubiquitous on new cars 30 years down the track. So it's worth taking a good look at some of the wild and crazy innovations on Benz's ESF2009 Experimental Safety Vehicle if you want to see where Mercedes thinks road safety is going in the next few decades. How about high-beam multi-zone headlights that intelligently dip only the LEDs shining directly at oncoming cars? Or inflatable metal structures that pop up for extra strength in a crash? What about a huge inflatable braking airbag that pops out under the car to provide a massive high-traction contact patch and doubles your braking power in an imminent crash? Amazing stuff, and there's more. Read More
No matter what your skill level, being aware of what's going on around you is THE most critical safety factor for all road users - if you don't see it coming, you are in big trouble. For motorcyclists, who are simply less visible on the roads and face a much greater risk of death or serious injury in the event that an accident does occur, this factor becomes even more important. In the past, the technology dedicated to inter-vehicle communication has been limited to blowing the horn or perhaps catching a radio report of an accident up ahead, but things are changing fast. This brings us to Honda's latest innovation in the field. The company has debuted a new Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication (V2V) system aimed at reducing road casualties of both motorcyclists and car drivers which links vehicles within a defined radio range via a wireless LAN network to provide immediate access to data on vehicle location, accidents, congestion or other potential threats that lie ahead. Read More
August 7, 2008 Driving at night is far more dangerous than driving in daylight according to the statistics. Though only 10% of road miles are driven in the dark, 48% of road fatalities occur at night. That’s primarily because at night our pupils dilate, and we become short-sighted, though glare, halos, and reduced peripheral vision all contribute to ocular tiredness. TAG Heuer has released a set of ophthalmic Night Vision glasses specifically designed to correct dark-induced myopia, reduce glare, contrast the dark blue surroundings without changing colour perception and ultimately offer safer driving after dark. Read More
A new tunnel designed by multi-disciplinary consultancy firm Scott Wilson will allow reptiles to pass under the road at a UK airport to ensure their safety. The tunnel was created with the reptiles’ biology in mind, providing a warm and inviting space to enter using LED lighting and heating coils. Read More
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