LifePaint, the reflective safety paint, was introduced by Volvo to make bikes more visible at night. This paint is invisible in the daylight and reflects car headlights. -Lavenue Clifton
People on bicycles are constantly facing the universally known struggle of staying safe while riding during the day and particularly at night. Although many products out there are designed to make bike riders more visible and safe, entrepreneurs are working toward better methods of protecting those on bicycles.
Rather than coming up with more complex styles and colors of reflectors and flashing taillights, companies like Volvo produced a spray paint designed to make bikers more visible at night. LifePaint is a reflective safety paint and according to volvocarslifepaint.com, the paint is invisible by daylight and glows brightly in the glare of car headlights, rendering visibility to the invisible.
LifePaint is said to wash off after a week and does not affect the color or surface of the material on which it is sprayed. LifePaint’s purpose is to make cycling safer, but can be used on clothes, shoes, helmets, wheelchairs, backpacks and dog leashes and collars, among other things.
The Swedish multinational manufacturing company headquartered in Gothenburg has a reputation for passenger safety, but is increasing its purposes to look out for pedestrians and cyclists.
The rising number of bicycle riders on the campus of The University of Southern Mississippi is happy to hear of the new product. Students commonly have the problem of not being seen on campus, where car and pedestrian activity is high during the night and day, posing dangers for everyone on the streets and sidewalks.
“I have been in several near-collisions on and off campus, and no matter how many mini LED lights I use, I am not fully seen by drivers,” said sophomore biochemistry major and avid bike rider James Grenn.
Nowadays, riders can decorate their bikes with multicolored LED wheel lights, use turn-signal gloves and a laser light to make their own moving bike lane. These methods are not enough to prevent accidents due to the continued low visibility of cyclists, their bikes and their clothes. With LifePaint, the entire bicycle frame can glow in the dark, making the cyclist completely visible to drivers, pedestrians and other cyclists.
The silver slick spray paint can is visually appealing, but more importantly, this seems to be a product that may actually work and make a difference for the safety of bike riders.
Senior therapeutic recreation major John Brown, who commutes by riding his bicycle, also has a problem of not being seen well at night.
“This product seems like it would be worth it, if it has the power to save lives,” Brown said.
“I know university police try to keep an eye out for bicycle riders by giving us tips on safety, but ultimately it’s up to the people on the bikes to stay safe. The glow in the dark paint is an ideal and simple way of staying safe, and more bike riders would be willing to try it out for their own safety since it’s convenient.”
Volvo teamed up with UK-based ad agency Grey London and Swedish startup Albedo100 to foster the glowing spray paint. The paint is transparent, invisible during the day and makes no difference to the surface of a material. When a user moves in front of a car’s headlights, the paint instantly turns a hot white glow to increase visibility, keeping both the rider and driver safe from a collision.
Volvo’s motto for LifePaint is “The best way to survive a crash is not to crash” and is making efforts to spread the slogan. Volvo has formed a 2020 Vision initiative, a safety campaign promising that by the year 2020, no person will be seriously injured or killed by a new Volvo vehicle.
To initiate this, free cans of LifePaint will be given away at six bike stores in England. The product has not been made available everywhere, but if the product is well received, Volvo plans to eventually make it available internationally. Bicycle riders in Hattiesburg anticipate this product’s release for the main reason of the city not being very bicycle or pedestrian friendly.
Sophomore business major Daniel Glover, who can be seen riding his bike across campus, believes it is dangerous for a person to ride at night not only on campus, but anywhere, whether there are cars around or not.
“Riding at night definitely makes me nervous. I do use hand signals when riding. However, when it’s dark, those hand signals are very hard for drivers to spot,” Glover said. “Making LifePaint available to the students of Southern Miss to use would make riding safer for both driver and rider.”
Senior information technology major and owner of a bicycle Vincent Green said this would be extremely helpful not only to the public, but also the police force and hospitals, because it would lessen the likelihood of fatalities for bikers and pedestrians.