Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Emergency Flares

Automatically deployed in the event of emergency
  [vote for,

A low power, visible light laser continually checks visibility conditions - when visibility is low, the device is armed. In the event of an emergency stop (or a collision), the device launches three or four flares in a fan pattern along the ground in an effort to stop a chain reaction of collisions.
phoenix, Aug 13 2001

Heavy Braking Radio Transmitter http://www.halfbake...Radio_20Transmitter
It's OK, [phoenix] - I got a similar reception. (Only I got really defensive about the whole thing). [st3f, Aug 13 2001, last modified Oct 17 2004]


       If the car immediately in front suddenly comes to a stop (either from a collision or from emergency braking to avoid a collision) then the last thing I need is a bunch of fireballs suddenly launched in front of me to distract me from the task of avoiding the collision myself. It would probably cause more collisions than it would avert. Sorry, [phoenix], no cookie today.
BigBrother, Aug 13 2001

       So I rear-end a Pinto, the fuel tank bursts, and burning flares are launched into the spilt gasoline. This could cut down on hospital bills by increasing fatalities, I guess...
Dog Ed, Aug 13 2001

       I'll have you know I drove a '72 Pinto for many years and not once did it explode on me!   

       Additionally, I expect the flares to be launched at ground level and go skittering across the pavement for 25-50 yards, so it's not like I'm launching them at your windshield.
phoenix, Aug 13 2001

       //I'll have you know I drove a '72 Pinto for many years and not once did it explode on me!//   

       So it exploded twice then?   

       I kind of like this idea. Just put a sensor on the back that looks for other vehicles, and if there's another vehicle directly behind you, the flares aren't launched.
PotatoStew, Aug 13 2001

       [Rods_Tiger]: You're thinking of a different type of flare. Your kind only deploy in a fashion emergency.   

       [PotatoStew] / [DogEd]: Shades of 'Top Secret'.
phoenix, Aug 13 2001

       Phoenix, I think if they deployed, it would BE a fashion emergency...   

       Maybe instead of flares, use those rubber balls with LED's in them that activate when bounced. Bright blinking warnings, but no risk of fire.   

       Croissant for a good idea, but fishbone for the distraction factor BigBrother mentions, so neutral...
StarChaser, Aug 13 2001

       Would something audible (like a blaring siren) be a better warning? It might not be as directional, but it wouldn't depend on visibility, and wouldn't be a fire hazzard. Of course, it could get disabled in the accident I suppose.
PotatoStew, Aug 14 2001

       Sorry, phoenix, the fire hazard problem is, well, it's a problem. How will you keep these incendiary devices from taking a bad bounce and igniting the roadside grass? Maybe some sort of electrical strobe flare device, similar to the LED balls suggested by StarChaser, would be safer.
Dog Ed, Aug 14 2001

       I'de vote if you could just allow me fire the flares whenever someone is driving 3 inches behind me....
CasaLoco, Aug 14 2001

       I, too, like the idea of an alternative to flares. Perhaps, though, instead of spheres they could be cubes (don't want them rolling off the road). And instead of LEDs, how about red strobe lights (again, these things only deploy in low visibility conditions)?
phoenix, Aug 14 2001

       just put massive strobe lights on the car itself ... have the flairs fire upwards to warn people further away or round a corner...
RobertKidney, Aug 16 2001

       It sounds like it would attract too many disco-goers.
Monkfish, Aug 16 2001

       So you pull into your garage in the dark, and you're a little careless about braking, and nudge the end wall.   

       An airbag would be bad enough ....
8th of 7, Jun 13 2002

       you could have halagine lights that you could turn on if someone is tailgating you, blind them to death, hehehe
Half-Life, Sep 03 2002

       It's very dangerous to be stopped in the middle of the road, especially with poor visibility. Anything that would help people avoid rear-ending you would be helpful. (The lesser the fire hazard, the better, of course.)   

       I think the natural instinct of drivers when they see something unexpected in the road (like blinking LED cubes) is to slow down, which is exactly the right thing to do when there is a car stopped in the road in front of you.   

       Collision-avoidance radar might be a better solution, but hey.
beland, May 26 2003

       Why not just buy a nice flashing light system for your vehicle. I have a full MX7000 Code 3 lightbar on the roof of my Chevy Venture van.. with a nice halogen / strobe warning light system with an arrow bar to warn oncoming motorists of danger. Mind you, I am a volunteer emergency responder and we specialize in traffic control. Automatically deploying flares would be unsafe for a number of reasons mentioned here. as well what if you were standing beside the road and a flare flew out of a car and hit ya... those things spew nice hot molten silica when they burn and trust me its not fun when ya get hit with flare spray. Another point is that common road flares will automatically extinguish if they impact a hard surface. i.e. if you lit a flare and dropped it a few seconds after lighting it, there is a good chance it will extinguish upon hitting the ground. I think the best solution to accident avoidance in low visability conditions is a forward looking sensor which would warn you on objects infront of you depending on how fast your going it will gague the distance according to your speed. I believe some luxury cars are now starting to grasp this type of technology.
Roadwolf611, Nov 11 2003


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