Lightning Strike’ Technology Keeps Motorcyclists Safer
by Casey James
PHOENIX — Wednesday night’s deadly motorcycle crash that killed two people at 99th Avenue and Buckeye is the latest in a string of serious motorcycle accidents in our state.
Now, one valley man is trying to make things safer for motorcycles riders.
Judd Smith is a retired engineer with a background in accident investigations.
“It put me in the engineering mode, so i got some wires and switches, things together,” he says.
Judd now co-owns “Lightning Strike”. It’s a lighting concept that allows drivers to see a motorcyclist anytime a rider feels threatened.
“When you hit it, it causes the lights to flash. Think of it just like a horn. You let go, it stops, you need to use it, hit it, and the lights come on,” he explains.
42 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents involve a vehicle failing to yield to the motorcycle, according to the Highway Safety’s loss data report.
Peter Krisch recently had the lights installed, and says in a month’s time, they have already paid off.
“I’ll be going straight through the intersection and a car will be waiting to make a left, and i just feel they might be turning in front of me at that point, so I’ll quickly flash these lights and I’ll see the results; they stop and quickly look at me.”
Judd says the first step a rider needs to take to stay safe is obey traffic laws and wear a helmet. He says the lights just heighten the awareness of those around you.
“It catches your eye so you see them,” he says. “It’s a defensive tool for your tool box. There is no guarantee on anything. This system is to make you more visible; you still need to be inherently aware of your riding and riding skills.”