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carballoon

Emergency balloon for disabled cars
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I saw a disabled vehicle with engine trouble at a stop light yesterday. Many cars were waiting behind him because they didn't realize what was going on.

How about an emergency helium balloon, with a 'disabled vehicle' sign hanging below, tethered to the vehicle. It'll give people a bit more distance to avoid the vehicle.

stevep98, May 01 2014

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       [stevep98], let me be the first to welcome you to the Halfbakery.   

       [21], he has a point in that the hazard lights are blocked by the string of cars stopped behind him.   

       The balloon, if floated high enough in windless conditions, would be visible farther down the road.   

       Of course, in the Santa Ana winds we're having today in San Diego it would just blow over down wind.   

       Perhaps you could make it controllable like a kite (as controllable as a kite ever is) and the driver of the stranded vehicle could entertain themselves while they wait for the tow truck.
normzone, May 01 2014
  

       Gosh, I wish I lived in the world you live in.   

       Here, the car fails BEFORE the hazard lights come on. The driver brings the car to a halt, and if they are fortunate, everyone behind them does the same.   

       THEN, the hazards come on. By this time, there are somewhere between twenty and two hundred cars stopped, and more every second. Again, if you're lucky.
normzone, May 01 2014
  

       Rather than a balloon, a pillar of foul smelling smoke might serve the same purpose. It would also be more clear to all around that this signal meant something was wrong with the car. Some manufacturers already build this into their cars.
bungston, May 01 2014
  

       Oh yeah, the carbeque.
normzone, May 01 2014
  

       // pillar of smoke // Sounds good, but it might cause someone to take unnecessary risks to try to rescue the person waiting patiently for AAA in their car.
scad mientist, May 02 2014
  

       It's not you, it's one of those cause-and-effect things...the response time can't keep up with the event. My compliments on your response time, I do the same thing.   

       Don't get me started on sirens and people sitting at lights, please, I got honked at today for letting a police car responding to an emergency go first.
normzone, May 02 2014
  

       Me too. I have to very awkwardly reach through or around the steering wheel to get at mine though, which interferes with concentrating on the problem at hand, so I'd hazard :D a guess that the design thinking, which I don't agree with, was that you'd pull over first. And yeah, people and emergency vehicles <wince> you can practically see the idiots saying to themselves "Well, there's enough room; why should I pull over and stop ?"
FlyingToaster, May 02 2014
  
      
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