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5 Ways We’re Making the Road Safer for Cyclists

5 Ways We’re Making the Road Safer for Cyclists

While it sometimes seems like cyclists and motorists are continually placed in opposition despite those friendly signs by the side of the street reminding us to share the road peacefully, new technologies and initiatives are starting to change that, making sure everyone travels safely and happily. That’s good news for cyclists, especially with the number of people turning to bikes on the rise, and it’s good news for motorists, too.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which the roads are being made more welcome for bicycle commuters and casual riders.

1. Volvo’s Cyclist Detection System

European automaker Volvo has become famous for its advanced safety systems, but they’re often focused on drivers, not the people around them, though engineers have developed systems to avoid pedestrian accidents and to protect animals. The cyclist detection system finally adds cyclists to the mix; using radars and cameras, vehicles scan their blind spots and work to avoid collisions, both by alerting drivers and activating automatic braking systems.

2. Never Forget Your Bike Light Again

This LED system is built into the wheels of a bike, illuminating them brightly at night to ensure that a cyclist is fully visible to passing pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Better yet, it changes color, turning red when the cyclist brakes; just like the brake lights on a car, it’s a warning that a cyclist is slowing down and needs some clearance. Added bonus: the distinct design gives cyclists a highly unique visual profile that makes them hard to mistake for anything else.

3. Bike Superhighways

What happens when you take cars out of the equation altogether? That’s what authorities are experimenting with in Denmark and other regions, with bicycling superhighways focused solely on cyclists. It’s a dramatic way to rethink traditional approaches to transportation, which have been dominated by designing for cars in preference to other modes of getting around. Bicycle superhighways are safer and more congenial for cyclists, and they encourage cycling to boot, which is especially valuable in heavily congested regions.

4. A Marriage of Style and Safety

Bike helmets are critical, because brains don’t like scrambling! And while it’s important to always wear a helmet, it can feel pretty dorky, too; some of the best designs in terms of safety and protection don’t offer much in the way of, shall we say, panache. The folks at Yakkay set out to change that with a brilliant set of bike helmets camouflaged as nifty hats. For those who like to look spiffy and possibly even dignified while protecting their noggins, this is a brilliant solution.

5. Copenhagen

A city so fabulous, it gets its own entry on this list. Danes take biking seriously, and that’s on full display in Copenhagen, with dedicated bike lanes and traffic lights, bicycle avenues, cargo bike lanes, innovative approaches to bike parking, and more. The city has done more than any other in the world to fully integrate cyclists into the landscape, and provides numerous valuable public works, design and innovation lessons that other cities should be looking to if they’re interested in developing more bike-friendly climates, and encouraging more residents to adopt bikes as a mode of transportation.

Related posts:

Why Building A Bike-Safe City is Key to a Clean Energy Future

LA Eliminates Entire Car Lane for Safer Bike Travel

Bike-Friendly Cities: It Can Happen Here

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Photo credit: Paul Stein

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3:21PM PDT on Apr 8, 2013

Great news! Thanks for sharing.

4:42PM PDT on Apr 5, 2013

We have a bike lane separated by several feet from the highway. Unfortunately most of the bike riders still use the hwy.

4:40PM PDT on Apr 5, 2013

Thanks for sharing!

6:41AM PDT on Mar 30, 2013

Thank you S. E. Smith, for Sharing this!

9:56AM PDT on Mar 27, 2013


6:15AM PDT on Mar 26, 2013

"The fact of the matter is, the bigger and heavier and faster of the two should always be the careful one."

Everyone should be careful- equally. A pedestrian can cause a wreck, just like a biker, driver, etc. On college campuses around the country kids just walk right out into the streets, drunk, sober, whatever, as if cars, bikes, etc, don't even exist. Ever seen a good wreck b/t a biker & walker? I have. The walker went the the ER. Ever see a walker cause a good wreck bt several cars b/c said walker did something stupid & driver was watching & tried to avoid? I wish the driver hadn't b/c the other driver got hurt. All b/c an idiot on foot thought they had more rights than the other person. Roads are for cars. Cars go faster, are heavier, harder to stop, & easier to see from a distance. Pedestrians can more easily watch for them & make quicker easier moves to avoid accidents barring ridiculous situations. Here, we have sidewalks for bikers & walkers, but most dont want to use them. They like to use the edge of the street. So if they have an accident, it STILL hurts the motorist. Now, how is that fair? Pedestrian breaks law, causes accident, yet, has all these rights, so motorist gets into trouble. ALL parties are responsible for safety on our roadways no matter how they use them... And I'm an avid mtn biker & I do wish motorists would pay a little more attention.

11:52AM PDT on Mar 25, 2013

That's funny, some people here still think a radical cyclist is the same level as an ineffective driver. After all we are comparing a half ton object with a hmnn let's say the average cyclist with their bike will be in the 120-200 pound range. That's really a danger alright. Now let's make it fair for all you velo haters. Imagine the same 200 pound object on the sidewalk rummaging at about 18-25 MPH, do you think that object is safe to pedestrians?

The fact of the matter is, the bigger and heavier and faster of the two should always be the careful one.

And one more argument. The road is a public access-way open to ALL whether in a car, bike or by foot.

2:20PM PDT on Mar 24, 2013


8:44AM PDT on Mar 24, 2013


7:47PM PDT on Mar 23, 2013

Since I was getting too old to ride my bike I bought a scooter, plug it in at night , great way to get around !!!!!!

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So endearing, thanks for the vid.

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