Accidents.  Some are minor, and some are deadly but all of them are expensive.  In the US, nearly one third of all motor accidents are the result of rear-end collisions according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration…the safety guys.  Most of those accidents were caused by distracted driving (texting, reading, eating) and most of the rest are due to speeding.  Texting alone causes 3,000 teens to die each year in car crashes, and rear end collisions happen about 1.7 million times a year on US roadways.

Enter Braking Bar.  Braking Bar was created by a Stanford graduate named Roland Hence.  Hence developed an ingenious and elegant solution based on some very important data.  Mercedes-Benz had been doing studies on rear-end crashes, and concluded that 90% could be avoided if the following driver simply had 1 more second to react.  In other words, drivers do not react quickly enough to normal brake lights.  Think about that for a moment.

What is Braking Bar and how is it a solution to the problem of rear-end crashes?  Braking Bar calls itself an adaptive brake light, designed to get distracted drivers’ attentions faster under urgent braking.  Normally, during braking, your brake lights illuminate normally, but in cases where you brake forcefully Braking Bar adapts by either illuminating very brightly or flashing. Extensive studies show that this technology causes following vehicles to stop up to 19 ft shorter, and thus reduces collision-speeds by up to 22 mph.  Though some vehicles offer adaptive brake lights on their cars, most aftermarket products are expensive and require wiring during installation.  Braking Bar uses an accelerometer, an adhesive, and a battery pack.  There are no wires to connect.

Braking Bar is 3x as visible as your ordinary brake lights, and makes drivers react up to 50% faster…especially when they’re distracted.  As you drive, the built-in motion sensor checks your braking force over 100 times per second. Then, the next time it senses that you’re braking hard – approximately 70% of your maximum braking force depending on your car – it activates the LEDs.  The LEDs have two operating modes: STEADY and PULSE. In STEADY mode, the LEDs output the maximum legal illumination. In PULSE mode, the LEDs also pulsate. Both modes are designed to get maximum attention. The system also has a brightness setting to accommodate window tints as dark as 35% VLT.  The battery has a 4 year lifespan.

I wanted to try Braking Bar, and Frontlane, Inc. was nice enough to send me one.  It arrived quickly, and was ready to use right out of the box.  I was immediately impressed with the design.  Braking Bar looks sleek; almost factory installed and would be perfect for any type of vehicle.  The back opens up to a series of switches that can select intensity, and mode, and the entire unit simply sticks to the rear window with a strong adhesive tape.  It is ingenious.  When I tested the lights, I was shocked to see how bright they really are.  A few minutes for installation on the glass, and I was done.  I have had it on my vehicle for two weeks, and I am truly impressed with the quality and design.  In fact, I can see myself purchasing another for my other cars.  I strongly recommend they create a motorcycle version, as this product can really save lives.

Perfect for any vehicle, but especially SUV’s and trucks.  With its non-permanent installation, it would also be perfect for older cars without a third brake light and classic cars with smaller tail lights.  Since it is adhesive, there is no risk to the long term value of the car.  Braking Bar is an elegant solution to a serious problem.  I highly recommend it.