Award Winning Product Means Safer Stopping for Motorcycles

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Entrepreneurs Create World's First Smart Brake Light Module

You know, motorcycles don’t have to be inherently dangerous.

Riding a motorcycle in traffic can be a harrowing experience. Chris Bailey and Jason Harrington should know. As cofounders of GearBrake, they have had their fair share of close calls – especially with tailgaters.

“The big problem was that drivers often had no warning that I was slowing down because motorcyclists frequently downshift or engine brake instead of using the brake lever. This doesn’t turn on the brake light, and I had multiple incidents where drivers behind me had to slam on brakes to avoid hitting me. I knew there had to be a better way,” says Chris.

The concept came to Chris quickly: what if you could install a device that flashed your brake lights automatically whenever it sensed you were slowing down? By enlisting the help of former Toyota engineer Jason, the two created GearBrake as the world’s first smart brake light module.

“In operation,” says Jason, “the module does not affect normal lever-operated braking. But when you decelerate quickly by downshifting, an accelerometer detects that rapid slowing and flashes your tail light for two seconds. This gives drivers behind you precious additional seconds to slow down, which studies show is enough to prevent 90% of rear-end crashes.”

The concept quickly won awards, including the prestigious Vogt Award which is given to innovative hardware solutions with high growth potential. The award came with $20,000 and an opportunity to win $100,000 based on company growth. Currently, GearBrake is working to expand their support for plug-and-play connectors which don’t require wire splicing during installation – a key request from customers that the cofounders are acting quickly to fulfill.

GearBrake has been well received by initial users, with many noting that they wish a product like this had been around sooner. Many customers can tell their own stories of being involved in rear-end accidents, and if not, they know someone who has. GearBrake’s cofounders hope that over time, they can help make these kinds of accidents largely a thing of the past.

“You know, motorcycles don’t have to be inherently dangerous. We can use technology to improve both the safety and riding experience. I know when I’m riding a bike with GearBrake installed, I’m much less worried about who is behind me. I can keep my eyes forward and on the road, and this makes a big difference in enjoying my ride,” says Chris.

GearBrake is currently available in motorcycle stores across the USA and online at

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