While bicycling is a fun and healthy way to travel from point A to point B, it can be dangerous. Car and bicycle accidents are unfortunately very common, and often fatal. In an attempt to combat the safety issues associated with bicycling, riders have been creating innovative new technology to prevent bicycling injuries.
One of the biggest causes of car and bicycle accidents is a lack of visibility. Two separate companies have created devices to make predicting bicyclists’ movements easier. The first is a laser bike light called BLAZE, which projects a symbol of a bicycle onto the road in front of the bicyclist. The location of the symbol is adjustable, but is usually set about five meters ahead of the bicycle.
Another innovation is the XFire Bike Lane. The Bike Lane projects two red lasers onto roadways to create a bike lane around the bicycle. Visible under headlights and street lights up to a mile away, the bike lane is waterproof, shock resistant, and features a USB rechargeable battery. These devices allow motorists to see where the bike is going, and help prevent cars and trucks from turning into the bicycle’s path.
In addition to visibility, designers are attempting to improve the safety of the bicyclist, as well. New helmet innovations to reduce bicycle head injuries in case of an accident. Torch Apparel has created a line of bicycle helmets with large, brilliant lights integrated in the design. In Europe, a new helmet called the Hövding has been developed. The Hövding is worn around the neck as a scarf, but when it detects a crash, it inflates to create a protective helmet around the head and neck.
Many car and bike accidents are caused when a motorist is unaware of a bicyclists’ close proximity to their car. Jonathon Lansey, of Boston, developed a horn for his bicycle specifically to get those motorists’ attention. Called the Loud Bicycle, Lansey’s invention is exactly what it sounds like. With a two-toned sound at 112 decibles, the Loud Bicycle is easy for motorists to hear, and Lansey found that they reacted to the noise almost immediately.
With so many new innovations in safety gear, bicyclists can soon expect a reduction in car and bicycle accident injuries. As technology improves, more safety apparel will become widely available. Hopefully, this will cause the instances in car accidents with bicycles to decrease, making sharing the road safer and easier for everyone.
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