Many readers of the Grazian Volpe blog site may be aware of the adventures of my bike-riding spouse. Her insistence on braving the roads and paths of Chicago on her trusty Cannondale bike knows no limit for weather or traffic conditions resulting in more than a couple visits to the emergency room for broken bones and concussions.
Over the years, I have written extensively on this blog site about bicycle safety and injuries. Grazian and Volpe has advocated on behalf of injured bicyclists for 30 years and the growing popularity of commuter biking is adding significantly to our client list.
I write this in a humorous tone, but am dead serious about the prevention of bicycle accidents. In our experience, the cyclist always gets the worst of any accident whether with a car, truck, other cyclist or even a pedestrian. Cyclists often suffer the most serious of injuries including broken bones, brain trauma and in several cases, death.
We have endeavored with this blog site to provide helpful information to promote bicycle safety and prevent serious injuries. It was with great excitement that I read an article in last weeks New York Times detailing some great new products aimed at creating a better and safer cycling experience for urban and all cyclists. The article was in the March 10, 2014 NYTimes and was written by Meghan Petersen. It deserves a read by all and a save for future reference.
While Ms. Petersen details safety, fitness and security innovatiosn, I want to list several in this post which I thought especially useful and potentially life and injury saving as applied to our experience with bicycle and car accidents.
One such product was developed by Philip McAleese of Newtownards, North Ireland and is called the See.Sense. The See.Sense is a bike light designed to make cyclists more visible. The See.Sense has sensors that react to surrounding light levels and movement by flashing in a pattern similar to an ambulance or police car. If a cyclist swerves or brakes the SeeSense will emit flashing lights indicating a change in speed and direction. The beam on the SeeSense is extra broad making the bike visible from all angles thus helping to prevent a side-on collision.
Jonathan Lansey, a Boston biker spent so much time dodging cars on his daily urban commute that he began a Kickstarter campaign to finance the production of a bike horn, the Loud Bicycle which sounds like a two-toned car horn at roughly the same decibels-112. He has tested the horn and found that drivers reacted as if to another car which is to say, immediately!
I especially love this one both as a driver and a cyclist- it is called the XFire Bike Lane Light. This light is equipped with two high-visibility red lasers that project two three-foot lines onto the road, creating the cyclists own bike lane and is visible to motorists up to a mile away.
The Hodving is a high-tech inflatable bike helmet that works like a automobile air bag. It looks like a fashionable neck scarf and detects the impact of a crash and inflates like a helmet around both neck and head. The Hodving was designed in Sweden and not yet available in the United States. Safety tests performed in Sweden by the Folksam insurance company indicate that the Hodving may be three times more effective than a standard bike helmet. My wife suggests this justifies a trip to Europe but I think we will hold off for US distribution.
The best point in the article is that all cyclists need to remember that they are sharing the road with drivers and other cyclists. Predictable behavior should be practiced and unexpected and unsafe maneuvers are often the catalyst for serious accidents.
So remember to ride smart and ride safe and remember Grazian and Volpe when all else fails!