Vehicle: Car: Accident
Polychromatic Emergency Flares   (+4)  [vote for, against]
Simple chemistry, simple changes, big difference

Recently, I narrowly avoided an accident. A 18-wheeler was overturned, and because it was dark and foggy, nobody had called the police yet. He had the flares out -- but I had confused their red glow with a car's tail light, and only saw the overturned truck at the last minute.

This would be a simple problem to address. Instead of using purely magesium flares, include occasional (thin) layers of other chemicals -- so it burns red for four seconds, white for one; red for four seconds, then blue for one; red for four seconds, green for one. Fireworks do this already.

This would not be an extremely difficult change to make, but would make drivers a bit more alert of upcoming accidents.
-- Almafeta, Nov 25 2003

Elephant AND Castle http://website.line.../elephant-night.jpg
[po, Oct 17 2004]

(?) London
Spot the Elephant [Fishrat, Oct 17 2004]

Mornington Crescent
Confused? Don't look at me! [egbert, Oct 17 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Electronic multi-colour replacement for incendiary flares [phlogiston, Oct 17 2004]

There could be an international colour code for various emergencies...
-- Detly, Nov 25 2003

nice idea. its a strange thing but you only see what you expect to see. I nearly drove into a tree one morning because you really do not expect a tree in the middle of the road in London.
-- po, Nov 26 2003

(Asking question that was begged) Why was there a tree in the middle of the road in London?
-- Worldgineer, Nov 26 2003

<Obligatory>Why did the tree cross the road?</o>


I hear they have an elephant in a castle down there too...
-- silverstormer, Nov 26 2003

there had been a fair old storm in the night before.
-- po, Nov 26 2003

Not entirely sure how multicolor flares are much of an improvement on the monochromatic flares we already got, especially in fog. What really helps with flares is movement, so maybe UB's Catherine Wheel suggestion is not so bad.
-- DrCurry, Nov 26 2003

[po!] Your piccy almost makes the dear old place look glamourous!
-- gnomethang, Nov 26 2003

so right! I had to double check it wasn't Japan or somewhere :)

I'd like to buy one of those pics. cannot manoeuvre my way round the site though.
-- po, Nov 26 2003

(waiting paitently for [silverstormer]'s punchline)
-- Worldgineer, Nov 26 2003

Setting fire to the 18 wheeler would probably work as well.
-- Micky Dread, Nov 26 2003

world, there isn't one!
-- po, Nov 27 2003

[Worldgineer] It's a London reference. Follow the London [Link] and have fun working it out.
-- Fishrat, Nov 27 2003

[Almafeta] Couldn't we just make the car tail-lights iterate through the colour spectrum and migrate around the rear-end randomly? Not only would that distinguish them from crash-flares but it would also amuse me when driving.
-- dobtabulous, Nov 27 2003

Too distracting. I'd rather have the road flares be attention-grabbing, not the tail lights.
-- Macwarrior, Nov 27 2003

What's wrong with warning triangles? Easy to setup and very visible! I believe they are a legal requirement in a number of countries on the continent
-- silverstormer, Nov 27 2003

/Why did the tree cross the road?/

It was trying to get to Mornington Crescent (linky linky)

Oh yes, (+) for the idea. Good one. Glad you managed to avoid a nasty pile up.
-- egbert, Nov 27 2003

aint it quiet without the USA?

happy thanksgiving to jutta and all!
-- po, Nov 27 2003

I'm completely lost on Mornington Crescent. Help!
-- RayfordSteele, Dec 02 2003

//Bugger - I saw this and thought, "Great! Here's the answer to all those fashion emergiencies!"//

I went to see a very funny performance last night (a preview of Tripod's show, Lady Robots). One of their songs had the line "...and my emergency flares are now out of fashion," and I thought of this.

(Somebody got their baby signed afterwards.)
-- Detly, Dec 02 2003

This is semi-baked, but only in a solid-state version. See link. Eight really bright LEDs in a hockey-puck, rechargable. Available in multiple colours, and multiple flash patterns, and can be customised with multiple colours in one unit, so I don't see why your red/white/blue alternating sequence shouldn't be programmable. I discovered this by happy accident this morning on the front of the menu at Buck's in Woodside Calif.
-- phlogiston, Dec 02 2003

i dont know if the spinning flare idea would be to good... have you ever seen that crap that drips out... yeah... that would hurt very badly... my friend has a scar roughly 6 inches long from where some of it dripped and ran down his back.. im thinking something like napalm... a nice thick runny fire...
-- rascalraidex, Aug 19 2006

random, halfbakery