Concerned about an increase in roadside incidents involving first responders, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) challenged companies to come up with research-based solutions. Read on to find out about one winning project that could save the lives of responders as well as civilians.
According to the DHS, “Law enforcement officers, firefighters, and paramedics are exposed to increasingly dangerous drivers while responding to roadside incidents.” The department cites examples like a crash in Baltimore in June where a driver playing Pokémon GO® slammed a car into a parked police vehicle. In July, an Ohio state trooper was hit directly by a vehicle and thrown in the air.
“Whether distracted by the latest cell phone game, driving while intoxicated, driving carelessly, or in low-visibility scenarios, this trend of first responder roadside strikes unfortunately looks likely to continue,” says DHS. The agency’s First Responder Group (FRG) has awarded a project to Applied Research Associates, Inc., of Albuquerque to develop technology that aims to reduce dangerous vehicle strikes on first responders.