As bike use rises around the world, cycling injuries and fatalities have increased as well. British design student Emily Brooke was concerned to hear that 79 percent of accidents in the UK occur when bikers are riding at night and are hit by turning vehicles because the driver can’t see the bicycle. So she created a bright green LED bike light called BLAZE that projects a laser image of a bicycle onto the road up to five meters (16.4 feet) ahead of cyclists to alert drivers.
BLAZE’s Kickstarter page blasted past its £25,000 fundraising goal last December with £55,000 from 782 backers. The project’s goal is to alert “road users ahead of the cyclist of their presence, helping to prevent them turning across their path (especially the big ones like buses and trucks!). Making the cyclist more visible and increasing their footprint on the road.”
The number of cyclists in London has doubled over the past decade, and other world capitals have seen similar increases, which is an exciting trend for alternative transportation enthusiasts. However in many cities the infrastructure, safety, education, laws and technology have not fully caught up with the explosion of cyclists taking to busy streets already clogged with cars and pedestrians.
Brooke told CNN that “last year over 3,000 people were killed or seriously injured on Britain’s roads alone. We have over half a million people cycle in London every day and the fatality statistics are really terrifying. Over a hundred people were killed last year.”
Just as new safety standards have reduced automobile fatalities, innovations such as BLAZE can make cycling safer.
Lead image via BLAZE