After a series of cyclist deaths on London’s roads last year, numerous initiatives have been carried out to reduce the risk faced by cyclists on busy urban roads, the latest being the promotion of a new bike light known as the Blaze light. The Blaze light seeks to overcome one of the biggest issues faced by cyclists which is the increasing number of motorists who turn without seeing them. Blaze lights use powerful LEDs to project an image of a bicycle approximately 5 metres ahead of the cyclist. The resulting beam creates a large, clear image on the road surface to warn motorists that the cyclist is there and reduce the chance of a rider being caught in a vehicle's blind spot. The light is available for pre-order and will soon be stocked in a major chain of bike shops.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents commissioned research in 2013 to assess cycling accidents. It found that around 19,000 cyclists are killed or injured in reported road accidents every year in the UK. In collisions involving a bicycle and another vehicle, the most common key contributory factor recorded by the police was the failure to look properly, especially at junctions. The failure to look was attributed to the car driver in 57% of serious collisions.
Charlene McAuliffe, a case manager in the personal injury team at Penningtons Manches LLP , says: “We are dealing with a number of cases involving collisions between cars and cyclists and the issues surrounding cycle safety are a reoccurring theme. We welcome this fresh and innovative idea which we hope will draw drivers’ attention to the presence of cyclists on the road, although only time will tell if this product can have a significant effect on protecting cyclists. Britain’s roads are becoming increasingly busy and it is important that the safe sharing of roads between drivers and cyclists remains a key priority to avoid serious injuries and fatalities”.