65 months ago

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ESR Crashlight: Detecting Wrecks and Saving Lives

Los Angeles, California, United States

Why every rider should carry this guardian angel of an app in their pocket

Motorcycling is an inherently risky activity that opens riders up to a lot of danger. There is however a wide array of options and precautionary measures that one can take to greatly reduce the likelihood of an injury. Wearing quality protective gear and having sufficient rider training are both great starts, though the reality is accidents do happen, and when they do, prompt medical intervention is often what makes the difference between life and death.

Crashlight: Enjoying the open road without having to worry

Crashlight: Enjoying the open road without having to worry

Finding A Better Way

Approximately half-a-century-ago the the National Academy of Sciences pointed out the abysmal on-scene emergency response that, at the time, was the status quo. The Academy went as far as saying that an injury victim had a better chance of survival on the average battlefield than they did on a US highway. The report, entitled, Accidental Death and Disability: The neglected disease of modern society, was an instrumental step in creating industry standards and protocols for ambulance/pre-hospital services.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Anatomy of a Motorcycle Crash: “While there is no typical motorcycle crash, what is typical is that a motorcycle crash is a violent event. More than 80 percent of all reported motorcycle crashes result in injury or death to the motorcyclist”. (Though this obviously doesn’t take minor, unreported accidents into account).

Wrecking in a remote location can often leave riders without any chance of assistance

Wrecking in a remote location can often leave riders without any chance of assistance

While it obviously varies case-to-case, the majority of crash victims would greatly benefit from timely medical intervention. Renowned physician, R Adams Cowley, is famously credited for coining the term “golden hour” in traumatic injuries, highlighting the time-sensitive nature of these unfortunate situations. A rider crashing without any witnesses around to call for help can be akin to a death sentence. Every week, there’s a new disturbing article about individuals wrecking while alone, only to be found dead days after the fact.

There’s An App For That…

Fortunately, modern technology means the vast majority of us now carry a collection of GPS devices, gyroscopes and accelerometers in our pockets in the form of a smart phone. And thanks to some innovative thinkers, the aforementioned hardware can now be used to save the lives of motorcyclists. Enter CrashLight, a proprietary service offered exclusively through the EatSleepRIDE App. The ESR app can detect when someone is on a motorcycle, and can subsequently record a host of different data sets such as speed, lean-angle, and elevation, while simultaneously automatically tracking each ride via GPS so that routes can be logged, tracked, saved, and/or shared.

The crash detection screen on the ESR App

The crash detection screen on the ESR App

**Crashlight In Action **

ESR’s Crashlight service uses these same sensors to detect if a rider has crashed. If they have wrecked, a text message can be sent to a predetermined number (or numbers), informing the recipient(s) of the rider’s GPS location so emergency medical services can be summoned. This is exactly how things played out for Mark, a Northern California resident and motorcycle enthusiasts, who in 2015 was out on a Sunday ride by himself in a remote area when he lost control of his bike and crashed. The impact was so severe that it not only broke all of the ribs of Mark’s left side, but also knocked him out, leaving him concussed, by himself on the side of a seldom-traveled backroad.

The remote location of Mark's violent crash

The remote location of Mark's violent crash

At the time of the wreck, Mark was running the ESR App's Crashlight service, so his wife and son were informed of the accident via a text and consequently were able to call on emergency medical services who promptly came to Mark’s aid, picking him up in an ambulance and transporting him to a nearby Stanford medical facility. In the days that followed Mark’s ribs healed up, and he has since gotten back on the proverbial (steel) horse, upgrading his bike to a Yamaha FJR-1300, though the husband and father knows things could have gone very differently if it weren’t for Crashlight.

Out of Sight, Out of Luck

Far too often motorcycle crashes — that don’t involve another vehicle(s) — are the result of entering a corner too hot (fast) and running wide. This is super hazardous as departing from the tarmac can leave a rider out of view from others traveling along the same road. This is exactly what happened to 28-year-old Matthew Murray, when his Yamaha went careening off a Southern California cliff, winding up 250 feet down a ravine. Fortunately Murray somehow lived to tell the tale, but his story is a great example of why and how Crashlight is an invaluable tool for motorcyclists. The GoPro footage from Murray's wreck (below) is pretty wild too.

Watch This Biker Go Straight Off a Cliff, and Survive

A Guardian Angel In Your Pocket

I don’t anticipate having any house fires anytime soon, however I still opt to install smoke alarms where I live, as they give me peace of mind, should the unthinkable happen. Crashlight serves a similar purpose (though I will point out motorcycle accidents are far more common than house fires, and you probably own a smoke alarm), not only for me as a rider, but for those close to me as well. When I go out for a ride, my girlfriend knows if anything happens to me that she’ll know right away, making it a pretty solid little stocking stuffer, especially at a cost of less than a nickel per day. While I’ve been lucky enough never to have needed to utilize Crashlight’s service, I still cherish knowing it’s there.

ESR also stands behind its Crashlight service. The company reviews each crash that is detected in an effort to constantly improve the technology and software. Just like a life-jacket on a boat, it’s much better to have it and not need it, then it is to need it and not have it. For additional information on the Crashlight service, you can checkout the FAQs page on the ESR website.



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