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Wreckonize: An Idea To Improve The Safety Of Emergency Workers, + A Pitch To Elon Musk & Tesla

He’s survived all four times that he’s been struck by drivers not paying attention, but that’s a lot of strikes. He also told me that every day at least one or two people die in this field.

I would like to share a story by Twitter user Wreckonize, who recently reached out to me. Before I dive into his story and idea, I will give you a bit of background information on him. He is a wreck operator (Wreck-Ops) who is concerned about the loss of lives of emergency personnel — ranging from police, firefighters, and paramedics to wrecker operators — due to drivers not paying attention and also not following road safety protocols. He’s survived all four times that he’s been struck by drivers not paying attention, but that’s a lot of strikes. He also told me that every day at least one or two people die in this field.

He shared a 17-minute  and 20-second video with me that he made for Elon Musk in hopes that Elon would see it and maybe be a part of a solution that he has been working on. The video isn’t on YouTube so I am analyzing it here. You can also watch the video for yourself. The overall solution would be an app on your phone, or even in your Tesla, that would alert drivers in the area that there is some type of accident or event going on up ahead and you should utilize the four emergency protocols.

The 4 Emergency Protocols

Wrecokinoze points out that many people only know about one emergency protocol, despite there actually being four of them.

  1. Slow down and move over to the right (left lane anomaly)
  2. Slow down and move over to the left (right lane anomaly)
  3. Slow down and move over to either left or right (center lane anomaly)
  4. Slow down and stop

Sure, people see emergency personnel on the road and usually do slow down and move over, but there are those moments before the police are able to section off the area of an accident or establish a “Kill Zone” (an area that the emergency workers need to work in). Sometimes, before these Kill Zones are established, workers can get struck by passing vehicles. Having an app that would alert drivers ahead of time that there is something going on before they can even see it — and/or alerting smart vehicles from within the car — could prevent deaths.

“I’m coming to you with this because we’re getting killed,” he says in the video in which he is addressing Elon Musk. He then elaborates on the problem: People driving by these areas are not paying attention or somehow miscalculate the distance between their car and an emergency worker.

The problem isn’t without potential solutions. Wreckonize told me over the phone that, for a while, he had given up inventing, but Elon Musk has inspired him again. When he was younger, he made his own prototypes of electric cars, and was often ridiculed by his peers. Enter in Elon Musk, who despite ridicule is successful at inventing things that are “out there” or unusual or just too crazy to be real but end up being very real, practical, relevant to today’s needs, and superior to existing products or business as usual.

“Thanks to you and your inspiration, I started inventing again.”
— Wreckonize to Elon Musk

His idea in this case is an invention that will enable better communications about emergency situations. He has been working on his idea for a while and it’s a way for vehicles to recognize when another one has stalled or has had some type of issue. This idea is based on the resistance factor — if people had a proper resistance factor, they may realize that a lane is about to be shut down and that a person is stepping out of a vehicle.

“It’s about getting the message ahead of time”
— Wreckonize

As part of this pitch, Wreckonize told a story of how two Tesla vehicles were able to see the cones he’d set out while on a job and then easily avoided the defined kill zones. He says that not only did the Tesla vehicles slow down, but they moved over to the next lane to avoid the lane being shut down. When you have cars doing this, others behind them will “wreckonize” the “slow down and move over” protocol.

Often, these kill zones are not yet defined, and this is when it is the most dangerous for emergency workers. When people are driving 60 miles an hour on the highway and don’t see this area defined, they may not realize — or they may realize too late — that there is a kill zone ahead and they need to move over. Wreckonize’s idea is a communication system that tells drivers they are about to enter a kill zone and need to slow down, move over, or slow down and stop.

The proposed name comes from the idea of recognizing wreck operations going on in the roadway as well as other emergency personnel.

 
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Written By

Johnna owns less than one share of $TSLA currently and supports Tesla's mission. She also gardens, collects interesting minerals and can be found on TikTok

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