Best Of 2020

Best Way to Not Die in a Ditch: Road iD

Covington-headquartered start-up Road iD was formed in 1999 after co-founder Edward Wimmer was almost hit by a “King Kong-size pick-up truck” while training for his first marathon. He had been running long miles on back roads (there’s an amusing reenactment video complete with late-’90s references on the Road iD site) and his father kept telling him to carry an ID so he could be notified — by a hospital, passerby or good Samaritan — in case Wimmer got into an accident. Thankfully, Wimmer escaped his showdown with the pick-up unscathed, but the close call made an impression. “A few months later, from my father’s damp basement, he and I launched Road iD,” he recalls on the website. “To us, Road iD has always been far more than a business. We are on a mission to save lives and make a difference in the world.” The most basic Road iD ($19.99) is a silicone wristband with an engraved faceplate listing several lines of text, typically your name, address, two emergency contacts and a fun phrase like “running is cool.” There are also IDs compatible with Fitbit and Garmin models and Apple watches, kids’ sized wristbands and Road iDs that can act as a sporty medical ID. Road iD has also invented Pet iDs that you can thread onto your animal’s existing collar (these probably won’t work for martingale collars) for a soundless solution to jingly metal tags. And if you don’t want to wear your Road iD on your wrist, there are options for shoes and a FIXX iD military-style dog tag. You can read testimonials on the site from people whose lives were saved or helped by Road iD — cyclists hit by cars, lost children reunited with parents, even someone thrown from their bike after colliding with a white tail deer. Road iD donates a portion of every sale to 4 Paws for Ability, an Ohio nonprofit that provides service dogs to children all over the world. Road iD, roadid.com.