Across the United States, cities have made efforts over the past couple of decades to make the roads safer for bicyclists through a variety of measures. However, there are still many steps that need to be taken, to make biking in a big city a truly safe activity. While we wait for cities to continue to improve, there are many things that cyclists can do to ensure their individual safety. One of the most important elements of bike safety is visibility.
There have always been measures that cyclists could take to improve their safety, from helmets to brightly colored clothes and reflectors. Fortunately, as technology advances, new options present themselves to make cyclists safer and also look cooler while doing so.
Light It Up
As mentioned, visibility is one of the most important elements for staying safe on a bike. It is easy for drivers to miss bicyclists, especially after the sun goes down. In the past, your only options for making your bicycle visible were wearing bright reflective clothing and having reflectors on your bike. Then there were simple head and tail lights that resulted in a big increase in visibility. Then the lights came with various flashing settings.
Now increasing your visibility has improved to whole new levels. Many of these options not only make you visible but help to highlight your intentions by working as turn signals. There are many different choices out there for keeping you visible both day and night while helping you to avoid becoming too familiar with the hood of anyone’s car.
With seemingly everything in the world these days having a smart option, of course, there are now smart helmets as well. In addition to many of the fun features, such as listening to music and taking pictures as you ride, there are also some good safety features in these helmets. One of the main safety elements is the lights, which for several models also include turn signals.
These light-up helmets will make you more visible to drivers overall, but don’t rely solely on the turn signals to let drivers know what you are going to do. Drivers are not accustomed to looking at a cyclist’s helmet in order to get an indication of how they intend to turn. During the day, when these lights are not as visible, you should still go with hand signals as your primary indicator.
At night when the lights are more visible, and your arms are less so, they will be far more of an effect. However, you should still use caution when turning as drivers may easily miss your indicators.
Turn Signal Gloves
Another great option for increasing visibility is turn-signal gloves. You can use these gloves to indicate your turning intentions as the light on the back of your hand will light up when you choose to signal your turn. Unfortunately, these gloves suffer from the same drawback as the smart helmets but to a much lower degree.
Drivers may not be looking for light on a biker’s hand to indicate their intentions. However, they are looking for turn signals indicated by hand signals. Because of this, the lights probably won’t help too much during the day when they stand out less, but at night they will make your hand signals much more visible and should greatly improve the visibility of your intentions.
If you really want your bike to look cool while increasing your visibility, check out Revolights. These wheel-mounted lights provide 360-degree visibility. They also serve as brake lights and turn signals. Although due to the narrowness of a bike wheel, depending on the position of a driver, the turn signal, like with the options before, might not be the most reliable.
Say Goodbye to Helmet Hair
Another really cool innovation that isn’t related to visibility is the Hövding Airbag. The Hövding Airbag is the safest way to protect your head and neck in the event of a crash. It provides protection that is up to eight times better than that of a traditional bike helmet. The really cool thing about it is that it’s not a helmet at all. Instead, you wear the Hövding Airbag as a collar.
From a distance, it looks like a scarf around your neck. You don’t have to worry about helmet hair. Instead, you can ride in style. In the event that you crash, the airbag inflates up over your neck and head in 0.1 seconds to protect you from any potential harm.
Hurt in a Bicycle Accident?
While we continue to strive for a safer world for cyclists, accidents do still happen. If you have been injured as the result of a negligent driver, consult a qualified attorney to request a free consultation and discuss your options. A bicycle accident can have devastating consequences. Make sure you get the compensation you need to get your life back on track after an accident.