The Cycle Life

Glow-in-the-Dark Cyclists

Volvo is painting riders and their gear to keep them safer at night.

Glow-in-the-Dark Cyclists

Volvo hopes cyclists will use LifePaint to coat helmets, apparel, and bikes to make themselves more visible to drivers when riding after dark. Photo: Volvo

Volvo, the company that invented the three-point seatbelt, already has a reputation for making driver’ safety a priority. And the company continues to bolster its cred in the bike world, too.

Earlier this year, the Swedish automobile manufacturer announced a partnership with POC and Ericsson to make bike helmets that keep riders safer by communicating with its cars. Now the company has another new product to improve rider safety.

Volvo LifePaint is a non-permanent spray that adds nighttime reflectivity to any surface, from fabrics to hard goods. Though the “paint” is undetectable during the daytime, it lights up anything that it has been applied to as if electrified when it's illuminated after dark. The hope is that cyclists will use the spray to coat helmets, apparel, and bikes to make themselves more visible to drivers—and thus safer—when riding after dark.

The spray is said to be non-toxic and safe to use on everything from plastics and metals to all manner of fabrics. It slowly wears off with use and washes out after laundering, so Volvo advises reapplying the spray about every 10 days.

“With the creation of LifePaint,” says Nils Leonard, chairman and CCO of the agency that helped Volvo launch the product, “we've turned Volvo safety inside out, giving it away to the most vulnerable road users.”

Developed in conjunction with the UK startup Albedo 100, LifePaint debuted in six London and Kent bike shops late last month, with 2,000 bottles being distributed free. If the spray proves popular, Volvo will expand the program throughout the UK and overseas.

“Every year more than 19,000 cyclists are injured on the U.K.’s roads,” said Nick Connor, managing director at Volvo Car U.K. “At Volvo, we believe that the best way to survive a crash is not to crash, and are committed to making the roads a safer place by reducing the number of accidents.”

Filed To: cycling, Gear, Biking

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