Safe cycling in the dark: innovative lighting to be seen on your bike
Staying bright when cycling at night is one of the most important things cyclists can do to stay safe on the roads.
The Royal Society for the Preventions of Accidents in the UK has stated that although 80% of road accidents occur during daylight (with the majority of these occuring between 8am-9am and 3pm-6pm), accidents which occur at night are more likely to be fatal. The volume of accidents is higher in Spring and Summer compared with Autumn and Winter, however the casulty rate in terms of miles traveled is higher in the darker winter months. Staying bright and being seen on your bike should be every cyclist's top priority in the dark!
So how can you make sure that drivers see you cycling?
Technology for cycle safety is becoming more and more innovative, from the reflective materials used in jackets to the brightness and battery life of lights. Check out some of these awesome lighting ideas which are designed to keep you safe and bright when cycling in the dark:
Bike Lane Safety Light - brought to the market by XFire, the Bike Lane Safety Light combines a tail light with a unique new safety feature - laser projected bike lanes!
These laser projected bike lanes mark out a rider's personal space on the road so that drivers will give them a wide berth when overtaking. The lights work perfectly on dark country roads though do struggle a bit in better lit, urban areas.
What are the team thinking of this light? Really cool idea, would definitely benefit from further developments for USB rechargeable battery as the battery life with AAA batteries is not great. Teeters on the edge of best-thing-ever and health&safety-gone-mad!
USB charging technology - companies such as Lezyne and Cateye are leading the way in rechargeable technology; the initial cost is quite intimidating at first but when you consider the cost of cycle specific batteries or the added bulkiness and poor battery life of AA or AAA lighting units, the rechargeable LEDs really are the sensible choice - you can always strike lucky and pick one up in the sales!
What are the team thinking? Don't get caught out in the 'I'll replace the battery tomorrow' cycle - stay bright and stay safe with rechargeable lighting units. Can be hard to find in the sales, if anything just shows that these are a timeless purchase!
BLAZE the ultimate bike light - whilst the Bike Lane Safety Light is designed to make your presence to drivers bigger when they are overtaking, Blaze is an awesome innovation which is designed to project your presence forward on the road to alert drivers and pedestrians ahead of you that you are approaching.
This means that cyclists can catch the attention of drivers in wing mirrors or on the road surface and no longer face the dreaded inside-of-a-curb dread! Setting the projection 2 - 3 bike lengths ahead of your bike means that you have a presence on the road ahead of your actual presence. Perfect for city riders who ride in traffic.
What does the team think? Blaze are still getting started but hoping to see these little life-savers online and in store soon - even without the laser, it's a bright front light and if they can compete with the bigger brands price-wise, expect the little bike projection to be all over the roads.
These are just a couple of ways that innovative technology is helping keep cyclist seen and safe on the roads, check out this guide on waterproofing and bright lights - what's your best tip for staying bright on the road?
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