Nighttime riding is so much more dangerous than daylight trips due to the obvious difficulty of being seen by drivers of other vehicles. Add in factors such as glare from headlights, wet roads, inexperienced drivers, distracted drivers, drivers tired after a long day at work and congested roadways and the danger multiplies. If you ride after dark, you know you should wear reflective clothing, helmets and equipment. Unfortunately, most of us prefer not to do this.
Just recently, I came across a reflective spray product called Albedo100. While I have not yet tried it, it seems like a great product that I thought was worth sharing. Albedo100 is a series of four different sprays for different uses. One spray is said to be a “permanent light-reflective spray, suitable for applying to metal, wood, concrete and plastic.” A second spray is colorless and invisible. It reflects light and is suitable for applying to clothing. It is non-permanent and disappears when washed. You can spray it on your gear and it’s invisible by daylight but reflective at night. A third spray has a pale gray color and is light reflective and used on sneakers or such. It also disappears when washed. The fourth product is a “semi-transparent light reflective spray for applying to fur.” It may be invisible on some animals and also disappears when washed. Volvo automobiles has a short video of a product that they call “Lifepaint”. It is a safety ad filmed in London, England and focuses on bicyclists riding on very busy roads at night. The ad is selling safety and uses the Albedo100 product to do so.
Many of my clients were innocently riding, complying with all laws and wearing proper approved safety gear, but have been struck by careless drivers who didn’t see them. Recently, a client of mine was riding his bike to the store and proceeded through a green light when another driver turned left at the intersection striking him on his leg. His leg was shattered, and while it is is healing now, it will permanently be one inch shorter than his other leg. My client was fully compliant with the law but the other driver, for unknown reasons, didn’t see him. This is a perfect example of why riders need to go above and beyond to make themselves visible.
I am not sure these products are available in the US at this time. I checked Amazon and the product is listed but is currently “unavailable.” It does seem to be something we all should look into. I also have not found information on the safety of these products and recommend you research before using, but, anything that saves a life, which could be your own, is worth investigating.