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Increase your driving safety with Quick Brake

Simple project turns your brake lights on faster than you could ever apply them, to reduce rear-end shunts.

Words by Julian Edgar. Design by John Clarke.

Back in the March 2003 issue, we covered the advantages of LED brake lights on cars – in addition to longer life and much lower current drain, LEDs reach full brightness far faster than filament bulbs. And the quicker that you can indicate to drivers behind you that you’re braking, the less likely they are to run into the back of your car. In fact, using LEDs in your brake lights can provide the following driver with as much as 200ms earlier warning . . . that’s 5.5 metres at 100 km/h.

But with QuickBrake you can do even better than this and provide another 200-250ms earlier warning! By combining LED brake lights with QuickBrake, you can give at least 400ms earlier warning that you’re stopping – that’s 11 metres at 100km/h. It’s a brilliant technique that we’ve not seen anywhere else – even in new cars.

Think about what occurs during an emergency stop. You’re driving along, mind dwelling on all things interesting – including the other traffic – when you suddenly realise the cars ahead are abruptly stopping. You rapidly lift off the accelerator and then transfer that foot to the brake pedal, quickly jabbing down on it. But "rapidly" and "quickly" are relative terms – in fact it takes about a quarter of a second (250 milliseconds) from the time that you start to lift off the throttle to the time the brake pedal is pushed and the brake lights come on.

But why wait that long before illuminating the brake lights? There’s no logical reason – only the engineering tradition of turning on the brake lights with a brake pedal switch.

Main Features
  • Reduces brake light turn-on time by 200ms
  • Works with throttle sensors with 0-5V output
  • Responds to rapid reduction in throttle sensor output
  • Activates relay to power brake lights
  • Adjustable timer for brake light on period
  • Power-up delay to prevent false triggering at ignition switch-on

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