August 15, 2021 Update: Shortly after publishing this review, our SplitSecnd device stopped recognizing the alert test of a sharp jarring motion. We sent the exclusive distributor, Mito Corporation, a video of the SplitSecnd being rapped against tester Neil Wyenn’s thigh—the recommended way to confirm crash recognition—and failing to initiate a crash alert. A Mito representative told us they were reaching out to the manufacturer for assistance. Three weeks have passed, and Mito has let us know that the manufacturer of the SplitSecnd device has been unresponsive to Mito’s requests for assistance and guidance. We can no longer recommend the SplitSecnd unit.
A riding friend phoned me a few months ago asking if I had ever come across an automated motorcycle crash notification system as some cars have. He related to me that a friend of his had run off the road into a ditch and laid there for almost 10 hours before being rescued. I reminded my friend of my reviews of the Somewear Global Hotspot with emergency call center response and the Garmin Montana 700i with inReach GPS with emergency call center response. Both do require the user to actively push an SOS button.
Evidently, his friend was too injured to even do that. He was asking for something totally automated for search and rescue. I wondered if such a device existed. I put together the right combination of words in the search engine and found the SplitSecnd automatic crash detection and response unit. It is distributed by Mito Corporation, a large automotive aftermarket distribution company in Indiana. That is where the customer service team is also located.
The SplitSecnd unit is in a molded plastic case about half the size of a cigarette pack. It plugs securely into a 12V accessory plug which draws power from any 12V cigarette lighter socket. SplitSecnd turns on when the vehicle starts, and turns off 15 minutes after the vehicle turns off or unplugged.
SplitSecnd has a built-in speakerphone that connects to all cellular networks. When it recognizes a “crash” using its six-axis accelerometer, it sends location and crash information to the company’s 24/7 call center. The call center then immediately dials your unit to establish a conversation using the SplitSecnd’s speakerphone. If the call center cannot speak with you, the most local 911 system is contacted. Your exact location, along with your vehicle’s description, is relayed to the authorities.
After crawling all over the SplitSecnd website, it is obvious that the unit is designed for automobile use. However, I was curious to find out if it could be adapted to motorcycle use, as my Yamaha Venture has a 12V socket.
I contacted SplitSecnd’s management team, and they advised me that they have never tested it with a motorcycle in the six years they have been selling the unit. They told me up front that they didn’t know how it would respond to the road hazards we encounter every day on street bikes.
We didn’t want the unit on my Venture to be calling out search and rescue during my testing, so SplitSecnd directed the outbound emergency crash response call from the unit to my cell phone.
Being a crash response company, SplitSecnd was concerned that its response team would not be notified if I did actually crash. I assured them I was willing to take that chance because we didn’t know if or when we would get false crash alerts.
I went through the new product activation, which starts on a desktop. After activation, it allows the use of the device and the smartphone apps for real-time tracking.
I plugged the unit into the 12V socket I use to power my GPS. To keep my GPS powered, I plugged it into the auxiliary pass-through USB port that SplitSecnd has conveniently located on the end of the device.
The SplitSecnd’s strong prongs hold it securely in the 12V socket—they clearly do not want it to fall out. I ran over every bump in the road I saw. I took 15 mph speed bumps at 40 mph. I even jumped a curb. Despite my best efforts, I could not trick the unit into a false alert.
Periodically, I pressed the SOS button on the front of the unit. My phone rang every time, confirming that the system is working.
The SOS button can be used for any emergency you feel requires assistance. If you see a fire by the side of the road, a crash in front of you, or you are having a medical emergency, you can press the button. A human talks to you almost immediately through the speakerphone built into the unit. You can ask the call center for breakdown guidance, or if you are hopelessly lost. There is no charge for a mistaken button press.
Trying to get the unit to alert, I ran an auxiliary 12V socket off my battery with a cable long enough to reach into my left saddlebag. Although it bounced around against the side of the hard plastic bag for some good jarring, I never got it to send a false alert. The SplitSecnd company does not know if a low-side slide or running off into a ditch will set it off, as that is not what it is designed to do. However, there are some features of the SplitSecnd I find useful, in addition to the crash reporting.
In conjunction with its free iOS or Android apps, the SplitSecnd provides real-time tracking of the vehicle it is plugged into. You can see the whole route, where it is in motion, and where it is parked. A geo fence can be set up in the app that alerts you to the SplitSecnd leaving a designated distance from “home” and when the unit arrives back within that radius. I wish I had this feature when my kids were beginning teen drivers! “Dad, we are just going to the mall….”
The unit cannot be turned off. The only continuous power comes from being plugged into a 12V socket. Should the SplitSecnd lose power, its internal battery kicks in to keep things running for 15 minutes. This is a failsafe system should a vehicle be in an accident that disables its electrical system, or the SplitSecnd is separated from the power supply.
The SplitSecnd is portable from vehicle to vehicle. You can use it for a Saturday ride and then plug it into an elderly relative’s car for tracking on a trip to an unfamiliar destination. You can rest assured that the relative can press the lighted SOS button and get any needed help.
It is advisable to update your app profile with the information about the vehicle it is in so emergency responders look for a black Yamaha Venture and not a 26-foot motorhome. It can also be used with Alexa or Google Assistant to let you know if the unit is in motion or parked. That way, you don’t have to distract the driver with a phone call.
I drove for 20 miles in a cell phone dead zone, and the built-in GPS still stored and laid the track down correctly on the app when I returned to a cellular service area. Keep in mind that the SplitSecnd unit cannot communicate your situation in an emergency if you are in a totally dead cellular area. However, if someone is looking for you, at least they will see on the app or a web browser and know where you lost cellular connectivity.
The SplitSecnd unit costs $199 to purchase and $149 annually for the subscription monitoring service. There is a one-time $20 activation fee. The unit comes with a one-year warranty, and customer service is live humans in Indiana. Remember, without the cellular data plan for monitoring, the SplitSecnd unit is useless.
SplitSecnd makes make no claims that it will work on a motorcycle, as the company has never tested it for that usage. We have also not done exhaustive testing, so we can only relay our experience—not tell you if it will work for you. However, now that you know about this portable, automatic crash detection and emergency response device, you may find its various features valuable to you and your family.