Let’s face it, no-one likes wearing a day-glo vest with reflective strips - but to ride without one, especially on gloomy nights, is risky.
But what if your normal everyday clothes could become completely reflective at the push of a button?
Enter Life Paint, a new safety spray developed by Volvo, which they say is washable, completely transparent and only shows up in the beam of headlights.
LifePaint is a unique reflective safety spray which claims Volvo is aimed at increasing the visibility and safety of cyclists, and other vulnerable road users. Invisible by daylight, it glows brightly in the glare of car headlights, making the invisible, visible at night.
Though designed for safer cycling, LifePaint can be applied to any fabric — clothes, shoes, pushchairs, children’s backpacks — even dog leads and collars. It is transparent, washes off and will not affect the colour or surface of your chosen material, lasting for approximately one week after application.
LifePaint is being trialed in six London and Kent-based cycle shops, including Peloton in Spitalfields, where cyclists can get one of 2000 cans being given away.
If LifePaint proves popular, the project will expand nationally and internationally.
Volvo has a ‘2020 vision’ that “by 2020, no person will be killed, or seriously injured, by a new Volvo.”
To that end the company has been working on new anti-collision technology, Intellisafe, a safety system which uses a combination of radar sensors and cameras to identify other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists and automatically brake if the driver fails to take the necessary action.
This works together with Volvo’s Active Bending Headlights, which adjust left to right according to the steering input to help see round corners better.
Adrian Walsh, Director of RoadSafe, said: “Driving a car is a complex and demanding task. In poor light conditions it becomes even harder, especially in towns and cities where the road is often shared with cyclists and pedestrians.
“This innovative technology will certainly help to make it a safer place and it is really encouraging to see a manufacturer reaching out to make pedestrians and cyclists less vulnerable.”
Nick Connor, Managing Director at Volvo Car UK, said: “Every year more than 19,000 cyclists are injured on the UK’s roads. At Volvo, we believe that the best way to survive a crash is not to crash, and are committed to making the roads a safer place by reducing the number of accidents.
“Volvo is a world-leader in safety technology, and we are proud to be extending our reach beyond just those driving our cars. By making cyclists increasingly visible as well as increasing the safety capabilities of our cars, we are doing our utmost to protect everyone on the road.”
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.