As new technologies emerge to enhance our lives, companies are developing innovative ways to detect accidents. With safety solutions springing up in multiple areas, we can see major improvements within workplaces, on the road and in sports. Technology focuses on detecting accidents and helping to reduce critical response times - a vital factor between fatal and non-fatal incidents.
Falls are now a major global public health problem, with an estimated 646,000 fatal deaths a year. They're the leading cause of fatal injuries, just after road traffic accidents. With the growth of safety challenges and AI technology, it seems natural for this growth in accident detection technology.
With 61.8% of the British population active, a significant proportion of the population is at risk. Accidents can happen when a person isolated, from the locker room or sports field to long hikes and horse rides.
One of the ways companies are attempting to combat the safety challenges of solitary sport is with wearable devices. Hitting the news lately has been the Apple Watch (series 4 and 5), after one cyclist flew from his bike in a remote area, knocking himself unconscious. The watch detected the fall and notified both US emergency services and his son, sharing his location and cutting down precious response time.
An American subscription-based app is attempting to go broader, promising to detect accidents on foot, cycling or a scooter. Noonlight attempts to detect crashes and alerts you via phone or text. If there is no response, the app's dispatchers will get in touch and contact the emergency services.
Other accident detection apps, including Huufe, are designed specifically for horse riders, notifying contacts if a fall is detected when riding. While the sensors in your smartphone may well detect falls, wearables that work with your smartphone can provide higher rates of accuracy for sporting accident detection!
On the road
With annual road traffic deaths reaching a shocking 1.35 million, road deaths are now the leading killer of people aged 5-29. This only highlights the incredible role accident detection technology can play.
Uber has debuted 'Ride Check', which uses GPS and sensors in your smartphone to detect possible crashes. When Ride Check is triggered, both the rider and driver are prompted to use Uber's Safety Toolkit, which includes the option to dial the emergency services.
One unusual solution being trialled by DHL is an earlobe clip that monitors fatigue. As 1 in 6 crashes on the road is caused by tiredness, it's expected that there will be an increased focus on monitoring drivers' fatigue to reduce accidents.
Huge developments have been made in safety-focused wearable technology, with smart PPE in the form of helmets, hats or visors leading the way. One of the more innovative solutions is 'Smartcap', a baseball cap that attempts to track fatigue in the workplace by monitoring brain waves.
For the oil and gas industry, a smartwatch has been designed to detect the most minimal levels of lethal hydrogen sulfide gas, which triggers an alarm. The watch warns the wearer of a potential gas leak with an audio alarm and sends an alert to their supervisor with their location in real-time. This helps reduce the time between the gas leak and response.
While all of these solutions have pros and cons, improvements in accident detection technology are continually helping us move forward and stay safe.
We have developed our own Protect wearable to turn from activity tracker to automatic aid request in the most distressing moments after an accident. From sports and everyday activities to DIY and even at work, the Protect can monitor your safety and request help when you need it most.
As AI technology improves and more safety solutions hit the market, we have no doubt that companies will push further for more advanced accident detection capabilities.