BS in Electrical Engineering
Electrical Engineering Department
In 2013 there were over 120,000 motorcycle fatalities in the U.S. alone, 73% of which were in the evening or during poor lighting conditions. Motorcyclists are at a disadvantage when it comes to their visibility on the road due to their size and location of lighting indicators. Because of this, motorcyclists are 82% more likely to be in an accident than other automobiles. One of the most common phrases among drivers involved in car vs motorcycle collisions is “I just didn’t see him."
Many products exist on the market to assist with visibility of motorcyclists including high-visibility clothing and gear which make use of retro reflective materials. Jackets, vests, gloves, pants, reflective tape, and other items exist, but all of the safety equipment currently available is passive: they still rely on an outside source of light in order to work properly. While any increased visibility is good, passive equipment provides only a static level of increased visibility which does not alert other drivers when motorcyclists are slowing or turning, arguably some of the most critical scenarios. Motorcycle safety studies done by the US Department of Transportation show that wearing reflective clothing or high-visibility equipment can reduce the chance of an accident by 46% or higher. How many accidents could be prevented if visibility equipment reacted dynamically?
Available for download on Friday, June 12, 2020