In California, you hear about a lot of rollover car accidents, though you don't always hear about the high level of danger present after the car is done rolling. In many ways, a rollover accident often happens in two parts. There is the car that rolls and the cars that strike the disabled vehicle.
While this isn't always the case, it happens often enough that Los Angeles fireman Eric Carpenter decided to do something about it. The E.R.V.A.L. system, which stands for Emergency Rollover Vehicle Awareness Light, rides under the vehicle and automatically triggers when the vehicle tilts by 45 degrees or more.
Flashing red L.E.D.s then warn other drivers of the overturned vehicle, hopefully preventing a second crash. Additionally, such lights could help emergency rescuers locate a vehicle more quickly, saving precious time that could translate into lives.
Presently, Carpenter has a patent application filed, but as Tommy Tran writes for ABC 30, it could be a long time before the E.R.V.A.L. system is officially recognized by auto manufacturers as a viable option. Even so, emergency responders were pleased with the system's functionality in a practice run that has already been carried out.
- New invention alerts drivers in rollover accidents (ABC 30)