Rollover car accidents are frequently fatal, claiming thousands of lives across the nation according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Last year on July 22, the California central valley was devastated when an 18-year-old teenage drunk driver caused a Greyhound bus to come smashing into his S.U.V. vehicle and several others on Highway 99 near Fresno, resulting in one of the deadliest rollover car accidents in valley history.
Now, a California firefighter reveals his new invention sought to prevent additional deaths resulting from rollover accidents, according to a press release by ABC News. One man, inventor of the Emergency Rollover Vehicle Awareness Light, or E.R.V.A.L. system, says his invention could have saved lives on that fateful night last year.
A simple undercarriage light system can save lives in fatal rollover car accidents
“I think it’s unfortunate. I think it could have been prevented.” he said of the Greyhound accident. “Had they had some sort of emergency undercarriage lighting system, [other drivers] could have potentially seen [the accident ahead of time].”
The E.R.V.A.L. system is just that: a simple series of 3 consecutive lights installed onto the undercarriage of any vehicle. When a rollover vehicle is turned to a 45 degree or greater angle, flashing LED lights installed on the undercarriage automatically become illuminated without any action needed on behalf of the driver.
These flashing lights could potentially save hundreds of cases of wrongful death by alerting the drivers ahead, in addition to preventing cases of whiplash injury, paralysis, or brain injury, the most common personal injuries associated with rollover car accidents.
How will the E.R.V.A.L. system affect future car rollover crashes?
Rollover accidents are commonly seen with S.U.V. and van vehicles, whose center of gravity is higher, and thus more prone to rolling over than sedans and sports cars. Stability of the vehicle is compromised when drivers take fast, sharp turns, or when the vehicle is impacted by an object or another vehicle.
Statistics for rollover car accidents are alarming. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports more than 280,000 rollover accidents a year. Of these car accidents, more than 10,000 cases result in death. Just over 35% of all S.U.V. accidents are rollover fatalities.
The E.R.V.A.L. system can alert other drivers to rolled vehicles well ahead of time, potentially preventing additional wrongful death associated with rollover accidents. While the E.R.V.A.L. system cannot prevent rollover accidents themselves, it can help save lives of others on the road, in addition to alerting CHP to rolled vehicles that may have crashed in remote areas.
Carpenter’s E.R.V.A.L. system is currently a patent-pending product. Will the E.R.V.A.L. system be a car staple like the air-bag and anti-lock brakes? We don’t quite know. While Carpenter is discussing his product with the automobile “big guys” (the likes of Ford, GM, and Chrysler), he’s unable to move forward with his invention until his patent clears.
If you’ve been injured in a rollover car accident, remember, you only get one settlement for personal injury. Don’t you think you should do everything in your power to maximize your personal injury settlement? Contact our experienced San Diego personal injury law firm today for a free and private consultation.
SENIOR PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY & FIRM FOUNDER
Michael Pines is a former insurance company attorney who graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1987. While he was an insurance attorney, he learned from behind the scenes how insurance companies work and how they decide how much to pay injured people. Now that he works against insurance companies, Michael’s inside knowledge has resulted in significant benefits to his clients injured in car accidents. Learn more about Michael Pines