The basics of a bicycle seem rather straightforward. Two wheels, a seat, handlebars and a frame. Even the first hobby horses that preceded today’s bikes did not have a chain, gears or pedals – riders simply pushed the contraption forward with their feet. Yet, the history of bicycle invention is quite complicated. One indisputable fact is that the popularity of bicycles came before automobiles. Nowadays, bikes have to share the road with cars and are at risk for being hit from the side, from behind and by drivers who fail to yield. See more about Bicycle Accidents.
In 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 726 cycling-related deaths and 49,000 cycling-related injuries, and many more injuries likely go unreported. Meanwhile, the number of bicycle commuters nearly doubled in the 70 largest cities from 1990 to 2012.
The endless antagonism between drivers and riders, along with the fact that bicyclists are at risk for very serious injuries in the event of an accident, means it’s never a bad time to invest in some gadgets to boost safety.
New Innovations in Bicycle Safety & Fun
Here are some new innovations:
Blink Steady – a low-profile, waterproof, rear flashing light made from solid aluminum that affixes to your seat post. Uses two AAA batteries to run two 120-degree, low-powered LEDs. Turns on by a photosensor when it’s dark and flashes due to an accelerometer when you’re riding.
Cycliq Fly Cameras — front- and rear-facing cameras disguised in working bike lights to record what happens while you’re riding. The front camera is a smartphone-compatible 400 lumen headlight that records 1080p video while the rear camera is a 30 lumen flashing light that records 720p video.
Helios Handlebars – available in bullhorn, drop or straight styles, the handlebars feature a 500-lumen headlight with a blinker system in the ends. Can be paired with your smartphone to make the lights turn on when you’re near, enable GPS tracking and use the rear-facing LEDs/blinkers.
Loud Bicycle – sounds like a car horn with both high and low notes, and is just as loud. Attaches easily to either handlebar, works with your thumb, and a single charge on the rechargeable lithium ion battery pack will last for 1-2 months.
Monkey Lights – waterproof, colored LEDs that snap onto your bike’s spokes and flash in patterns to give you better visibility. The graphics can be programmed in hundreds of color and pattern combinations.
Skylock — solar-powered, keyless, steel bike lock. Can be paired with your smartphone to alert you if anyone is tampering with it, to send notifications if you’re in a serious accident, and to allow select people to unlock for an instant individualized bike-share.
Torch T1 Bike Helmet — shatterproof helmet with 10 LED lights, including a white headlight and red rear light. Better visibility because the lights are higher (on your head) and in drivers’ line of sight. Can last up to 12 hours before needing to be recharged.
Xfire Bike Lane Light – creates a bike lane that is visible under streetlights and to motorists up to a mile away. Two high-visibility red lasers project two three-foot lines onto the road.
If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident or have more questions about this topic, come to a lawyer who rides. We invite you to contact the Mann Law Firm by calling (478) 742-3381 or by filling out our online form. We have over 50 years of experience helping people, and we can help you.