LifePaint Is A Reflective Spray-On Paint That Could Revolutionize Bicycle Safety At Night — VIDEO
I have mad respect for people who ride their bike to work. If you can get your human self out of bed that early in the morning and propel yourself to work, not only are you 100% more motivated than people like me, but you're basically going to live forever from all the health benefits. That being said, some cities are way safer than others for biking, particularly when it comes to poor visibility at night. Volvo is one of many companies trying to come up with cost-effective safety solutions for cyclists. Their latest endeavor is Lifepaint, a paint for bikes that glows brightly at night but sprays on invisible during the day. Basically before a cyclist heads out for the night, they can spray this all over themselves and then light up like a Christmas tree whenever headlights shine on them, making it that much more difficult for drivers not to spot them on the road.
So if you see a bunch of ghosts crushing around your town, you can blame LifePaint. The science behind it is pretty awesome, too: The reflective particles of the spray stick together with an adhesive, reflecting the light of anything that flashes on it. Because the spray is water-soluble, it totally comes off in the wash, so you don't have to worry about accidentally turning all of your clothes into ~rave gear~.
Just look how much of a difference it can make for visibility. Here's a picture of some ordinary cyclists at night:
And then after LifePaint is applied, they light up like biking supernovas.
The paint is designed to stick only to fabrics on clothes and shoes, and not necessarily plastic, metal, or leather, so some of these photos are a little bit misrepresentative of what the paint would actually look like. Still, even on their clothes you can see what a major impact this could could make for cyclist safety at night.
In the U.S., there are approximately 600-750 cyclist deaths per year, almost all of which involve a motor vehicle that either didn't see the cyclist or weren't paying proper attention to the roads. The number of cyclist deaths doubled in the last year in New York alone. Although LifePaint is only marketed and sold in the UK as of right now, it will soon be available to ship to the US for $19 a pop.
That being said, you could always invest in a more permanent glow-in-the-dark solution with paints that will stick to your bike, like Krylon reflective paint. It's not gonna handily wash off in the laundry, but it will keep you visible in the rain (which does seem to be the one drawback of LifePaint).
Here's the full video demonstrating how LifePaint works:
Images: Getty Images; YouTube (3)