Cycling is Americans’ second most popular outdoor activity, but nearly 700 cyclists die each year in crashes and an additional 48,000 can sustain injuries, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) . Fortunately, investing in a few key pieces of safety gear can make the difference between life and death (or disability) for two-wheeled warriors.
Here’s a roundup of some of the coolest gear that’s hit (or about to hit) the market:
- Bright wheel lights: Think reflectors and neon-colored clothes are your only options when it comes to staying safe during night spins? If so, check out Revolights. These wheel-mounted LED lights do double duty by illuminating your path and making you more visible to cars. (They also create something of a light show for onlookers.) The Kickstarter-funded invention is now available for $139 (one wheel) and $229 (both wheels) at revolights.com.
- A wireless bike turn signal: Concerned that hand signaling leaves you unsteady—and that cars still aren’t aware of your intentions? If so, you might consider the Wireless Turn and Hazard/Safety Signaling System. These signals attach to your rear seat post and handlebars; when you want to turn, an ultrabright LED signal and beep alert other cars and motorists about your next move. The device retails for about $60 at retailers like Sharper Image.
- A loud horn: Urban cyclists might consider investing in a Loud Bicycle Horn, another Kickstarter-launched product. It helps you avoid a collision by emitting a honk as loud as any car horn. The water-resistant device is powered by a rechargeable lithium battery, and it’s available for pre-order at loudbicycle.com.
- An invisible helmet: The proper name for this Swedish invention is the Hövding, and it’s essentially a hood-shaped air bag that’s worn around your neck. When sensors in the bag detect an accident in motion, the bag inflates in just a tenth of a second. While the the Hövding sounds crazy, the research shows that it’s virtually foolproof. It’s also as effective as a conventional helmet. The Hövding hasn’t yet made it to American shores. But if sounds like your kind of headgear, you might start saving up now—the Hövding currently retails for about $600.
As a final precaution, make sure your bike is insured and that you have a good amount of liability coverage to protect yourself in the event you injure someone with your bike. (Learn more about it on erieinsurance.com.)
Erie Insurance publishes Eriesense for your education and entertainment. We do not claim to endorse these products, and we disclaim any liability arising from the use of, or reliance on, this information.