Monday, July 25, 2011

Product Review: Road ID

In 2005 I was training for my first Ironman, and got hit by a car while out for a ride.  I was in aero position, going about 28 mph on a gradual downhill in the bike lane,  and a guy in an opposite left hand turn lane decided to gun it and try to beat me across.  He misjudged.  Before I could even come out of aero position to make a grab for my brakes, I  t-boned his passenger door and flew, bike still attached, over the top of his car.  It was a rather spectacular-looking crash (according to the horrified onlookers).   I was wearing a Road ID, and when the ambulance came, I didn’t have to scour my dazed brain for a phone number.  My husband was called and I got carted off for x-rays. 

Three months later, when my body had healed and my new bike had arrived, I went out again.  I was admittedly white-knuckled, but had to get back in the saddle, literally.  I told my husband I would stay close to home and do laps in a low-traffic area with a very wide bike lane.   It was mid-day on a Sunday, and I was wearing a yellow jersey with a ridiculous blinking light on the back…talk about paranoid.  But sure enough, I was hit again, this time from behind, by a drunk driver who fled the scene (thankfully witnesses got the license plate number).     The police officer said I was so visible I actually attracted the drunk driver, since they tend to drive toward what they are looking at.  Back in the ambulance, once again relying on my Road ID. 

Needless to say, my Road ID is as normal a part of getting dressed as my shoes are.  I never leave home without it.   If you think you don’t need one because you are always cautious in your activities, let my experiences be a lesson.  It has little to do with you and your level of personal safety – you simply cannot control the external factors. 

I got my first Road ID, a wrist Sport version, about nine years ago.   It had my name, emergency contact info, and allergies on it.   I wore it running, biking, swimming, camping – basically it went wherever I went.  It is a comfortable mesh fabric with a Velcro closure and a stainless steel info plate.  It is indestructible - you would think the fabric or Velcro would fail at some point, but it never wore out.  I replaced it only because Road ID kept coming up with great, new product. 

My current Road ID is the wrist Elite, which has a thinner, rubberized band, and a clasp much like a watch.  I tend to wear this sleeker one daily, regardless of whether I’m heading out for groceries or a 20 mile run. 

I happen to prefer the wrist ID, but they offer shoe, ankle, and military-dog-tag styles as well. 

For me, the most significant development for Road ID since I’ve owned it is the Interactive option.  This allows you to put your basic info on the plate, and manage an entire medical and contact profile on a website that can be accessed by emergency personnel.   When this option was introduced, I enrolled immediately (it costs a mere $10 per year).   By wearing this small wristband, I am actually carrying around multiple emergency contacts, my bloodtype, medical history, physicians, treatment preferences, even info about my son in case I’m in a car accident with him.   And I can update it anytime I want, as often as I need to. 

Everybody should own a Road ID because it’s just smart.  In fact, if I were a race director, I would make the Road ID mandatory for participants. 

Lastly, I love the personal aspect of the Company.  As a Road ID customer, you get communication straight from the owners, Ed and Mike Wimmer, a father and son team who founded the company because they genuinely care about the safety of other outdoor enthusiasts.   I try to spend my limited funds with companies that have heart, and this one certainly does. 

The Wrist ID Sport is $19.99, and the Wrist ID Elite is $29.99.    This is a no-brainer, folks.   


  1. There is a lot of craziness out there. Glad you made it through both times.

    I lost my first one and after a close call 3 months ago, I bought two IDs!

  2. I'm with you... I don't go without my Road ID. Was hit by a car in March, not so different from yours, and I'm glad knowing that if I can't give the necessary info, it's still available to the emergency providers.

    Deeznutz- if you read the entire thing, you'd have seen that there are plenty of other options available- you don't have to go with the bracelet.

  3. I truly love my RoadID and have even gotten one of the dog tag styles that has the interactive ID with it that I have attached to my keys in case I am in a wreck. Yes they have my ID and can get my information from there, but this is a good way to get my other emergency contacts and medical history. It's a great service that the RoadID crew has come up with this time! Thanks!

  4. You forgot to mention the new Slim. I have all three bracelet models, and I really like the new slim. I can wear it on any Livestrong style bracelet and it is considerably thinner. Great product with a great company. Hope you never have to use it again.

  5. I got my first Road ID last year. I blacked out at the St. Jude's Half Marathon. The EMT's lost my Road ID I called the company to order a new one. The Customer service rep asked what happened. I told him that it was lost by the emt's and they asked to put me on hold for a few seconds (literally a few seconds) next thing I know they are replacing my Road ID at no cost to me because they felt they had not educated the Memphis TN EMT's properly. BEST customer service EVER!

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  7. I got my Road ID earlier this year after my kids (ages 8 and 10) saw a Road ID ad in one of my running magazines and asked me to get one. They were affected by a serious bike accident I was in 2.5 years ago, serious enough to require 3 days in the ICU.

    Even though, in my brain-injured state, I was able to remember my home number for the onlookers to alert my wife, I have no recollection of doing so. I'm still amazed that I remembered the number in that state. It's easy to imagine how that wouldn't have been the case.

    I don't like wearing things on my wrist and only wear a watch because my thirst for numbers trumps my antipathy to feeling encumbered. I'm happy to say that I forget about the Road ID when it's on. It's been my frequent companion this year as I ran and cycled in training for my first Ironman