Q: What is the genesis of the Safety Arrow™ Product?
A: Kenneth Greves served more than 26 years as an Indiana State Police trooper. While on a personal vacation some years ago, traveling on a major interstate highway Sergeant Greves (Ret.) witnessed a horrific “roadside departure accident”. An 18-wheel box truck was pulled off the road and the driver had placed properly three standard roadside safety triangles behind the disabled truck. Yet at 12:30 am a passenger vehicle came from behind and frankly did not know if she should veer to the right or the left and drove her car into the back of the truck, and the car exploded tragically killing both the driver and her passenger. The driver was not under the influence of any substance. In reading the frontpage article the next morning, Officer Greves concluded that the safety triangles did not “tell the driver what to do”; she needed a clear signal, a “simple arrow” to inform her what to do- to point her to safety. (And this double fatality occurred years before the advent of “distracted driving”). The need for a simple, universally recognized device to “tell the driver what to do” lead him to invent, patent and now sell the Safety Arrow™.
Q: Are there many fatalities that arise because of “roadside departures”?
A: Yes. “Roadway departures account for over half of fatal crashes in the United States”, according to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Given the alarming fatality and accident rates involving roadway departures, the FHWA recently proclaimed: “ The strategic narrative for the FHWA roadway departure safety roadmap focuses on the goal of reducing roadway departure fatalities by 50 percent by the year 2020.” We believe broad use of the Safety Arrow™ will help reach this goal.
Q: What is the most innovative aspect of the Safety Arrow™?
A: Sargent Greves’ experience in investigating and documenting roadside departure accidents and fatalities lead him to conclude that a driver traveling at 60 miles per hour, 88 feet per second, has a mere 4.16 seconds to respond to any situation arising along a roadway. The driver must not only mentally process the existence of the disabled vehicle, but must then engage in an evasive, safe course of action. In the split second the driver needs to react, the Safety Arrow™ tells the driver exactly what to do-move to the left or the right to avoid the “secondary accident”. The “secondary accident”, is the Federal Department of Transportation’s term to describe when a second vehicle collides with the vehicle on the side of the road, or the person replacing the flat tire, or moving around the disabled vehicle. The Safety Arrow™ clearly tells approaching vehicles “what to do”, ie “steer in the direction indicated by the Arrow.
Q: Is the Safety Arrow™ used by governmental agencies charged with the responsibility of attending to vehicles obstructing the highway or roadway?
A: Yes. Local sheriffs and various state highway patrol officers, state police, and city police departments from coast to coast, use the Safety Arrow™ to guide on-coming traffic away from the roadside incident, or their own vehicles.
Q: Do school buses use the Safety Arrow™?
A: A number of school district buses likewise carry the Safety Arrow™ in their buses. Because our children ride in school buses, too, we actively engage school districts to utilize the Safety Arrow™ in vehicles and buses transporting children. We provide free trial Safety Arrow™s [ do we want to provide to other state officers)to school districts to conduct their own safety assessment of Safety Arrow™s.
Q: How is the Safety Arrow™ attached to the disabled vehicle?
A: The Safety Arrow™ can be attached easily to the vehicle with built-in magnets, or with the included suction cups to affix to the vehicle, or open trunks, hoods, safety traffic cones.
Q: What is the visibility range of the Safety Arrow™?
A: In daylight the high visibility color and reflective surfaces can be recognized at 300 yards. In dusk or nighttime driving conditions the Safety Arrow™ is visible at over 600 yards.
Q: Do you provide Safety Arrow™s to general public consumers?
A: Yes. Individual consumers are our largest customer segments. We receive written testimonials and endorsements from members of the general public. Any vehicle is subject to mechanical failure, running out of gas, or other temporary disability. Even vehicles waiting for a roadside assistance vehicle are vulnerable to a Secondary Accident.
Q: Is the Safety Arrow™ superior to other roadside warning devices?
A: Yes. Three alternative warning devices are available: roadside flares, collapsible reflective triangles, and magnetic “clamshell lights”. Roadside flares are most commonly used; but have several drawbacks. One, the flares, once lit, burn on average between 15-30 minutes, then burn out, leaving the vehicle without protection. Two, the burnt-out roadside flare creates an environmental hazard. They contain perchlorate oxidizers which dissolves and moves rapidly into groundwater and surface water. Three, the flare is laid on the ground (some have a nail spike to increase visibility to ten inches off the ground), but the visibility is impaired: both are too low to the ground for oncoming vehicles to respond timely. Four, most importantly, the flares do not “tell the driver what to do, which way to steer the vehicle to avoid the secondary accident. Reflective triangles are insufficient, too: One, the triangle sits on the ground, too low to gain visibility. Two, the triangle is easily blown over by passing trucks or wind. Three, the total amount of reflective surface is insufficient; and Four, the triangle does not tell the oncoming vehicle which direction to maneuver to avoid a secondary accident. Clamshell lights work only if the batteries are not dead, and the lights fail when the batteries are exhausted. Two, the clamshell are on the ground, too low to provide maximum visibility. Three, the clamshell lights, like the other devices, do not tell the oncoming vehicle “which way to move” to avoid further accident.
Q: Is the fact that all other warning devices (roadside flares, safety triangle, and clamshell devices) sit on the ground a severe defect with all such devices?
A: Yes. Absolutely. The Federal Highway Administration (“FHWA”), was congressionally established to regulate and oversee all federal and federally funded state highways, including nationwide efforts to reduce fatalities, serious injuries and disabilities arising from vehicular traffic. Just a few years ago the FHWA completed an exhaustive study of how lack of visibility causes roadway accidents, and released its findings in the, “Roadway Visibility Research Needs Assessments.” Page 26 provides this finding:
The AASHTO Green Book suggests that with the assumed 24-inch height of vehicle headlamps, an object 16 inches above the roadway will be within the line of the headlamps at a distance equal to stopping sight distance. This means drivers will typically see objects 16 inches above the pavement in time to stop.
This finding underscores the fact that objects on the pavement, or less than 16 inches high, will not be seen typically by a driver in time to stop. (Our engineering staff are engaged in creating a patented, collapsible platform to enable drivers to position three required Safety Arrow™s 18-20 inches above the pavement, behind the disabled vehicle.)
Q: With all the advances in safe design and materials used in roadway signs. Is simple visibility still an issue in 2020?
A: Yes indeed. According to the Office of Safety division of the Federal Highway Administration, “About half of traffic fatalities occur at night, although only about one quarter of travel occurs after dark. While intoxication and fatigue contribute to the high rate of nighttime crashes, nighttime driving is inherently challenging due to decreased visibility.”
Q: Did Sargent Greves invent other safety devices?
A: Yes. Sargent Greves has received multiple United States patents for other highway safety devices. He is recognized worldwide as the inventor of the StopStick, a device to disable fleeing vehicles attempting to elude police officers. The StopStick is used by thousands of law enforcement departments worldwide.
Q: Why did you adopt the corporate name, “Best Practices in Safety”?
A: The names follows the corporate goal: We want to provide products which “set a new high-water mark” in safety, starting with personal safety. The “Best Practices” in all fields are recognized as the highest standards, the most well-thought-out solutions in a given industry.