Riding a bicycle is a great way to get in shape while getting from point A to point B. But it also can be dangerous — especially at night. In 2012, 45,000 cyclists were injured or killed on roads in the United States, with 29 percent of those injuries occurring from collision with a vehicle. Many times, drivers simply don’t see a bicyclist until it's too late. That’s why Volvo has come up with a unique way to make cyclists stand out: transparent reflective spray. It's invisible by day, and potentially life-saving by night.
Shake and Spray
To create LifePaint, car company Volvo collaborated with an advertising agency in the United Kingdom and a Swedish startup that makes specialized reflective paints. LifePaint is a washable reflective spray that coats a bike's frame as well as the rider's backpack or any other item of clothing. The spray is invisible in daylight, so there’s no need to worry about mucking up the look of your fixed-gear. However, at night, LifePaint brilliantly reflects light coming from a vehicle’s headlights. And after a night cruising around the city, the LifePaint simply washes off without destroying your wardrobe.
Albedo100, the Swedish company that makes LifePaint, also makes reflective sprays specially tailored for clothing and animal fur, which is useful for nighttime walks with Fido. Currently, LifePaint is free at a few select bike stores in the UK, and Volvo is considering rolling out the product internationally if it is well received.
Throughout the United States, more and more people are choosing to pedal to work. The number of bicycle commuters grew from 488,000 in 2000, to about 786,000 in 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. With more cyclists sharing our busy streets, anything that makes their commute safer is a step in the right direction. We’re crossing our fingers that LifePaint makes it across the Atlantic and onto bike frames here in the U.S.