A graduate from Central Saint Martins invented clothing that will be safer for bike riders. Will Verity has developed a jacket with LED lights, which begins flashing when cars approach the cyclist. Female bike riders all over the world no longer have to be afraid of riding at night.
Light up clothing
In the UK, about 25 percent of bike riders are female, but in the Netherlands, over half of all cyclists are women. Many surrounding countries also consist of about 50 percent female bike riders.
A report by Get Britain Cycling found that less than two percent of the population rides their bikes. Verity wondered why this number was so low. After creating a jacket that will make riding safer, researchers expect the number of bike riders to increase by as much as 25 percent by 2050.
While researching UK bike riders, Verity found that cyclists are overwhelmingly white, male and between the ages of 25 and 44. Less women ride their bikes because of their fear of accidents.
Verity decided to look more in depth at the roles of cyclists and drivers. Essentially, drivers act as a predator on the hunt for their prey, the bike rider. He decided that the prey needed something to scare off the predator. After thoroughly researching the issue, Verity came to the solution of the LED jacket.
LED jacket to help cyclists
The jacket is illuminated by LEDs and the closer a vehicle approaches a cyclist, the faster the lights will flash. The jacket is lightweight and made from waterproof material, so cyclists can wear it in any condition.
Verity explained that his ultimate goal was to change the visual language of cycling jackets. Currently, there are a few jackets on the market catered toward cyclists. However, they all appear too similar to road signs, highway maintenance workers and other barriers in the environment. This causes drivers to view cyclists as obstacles instead of people.
This new LED jacket was created in an attempt to move away from this visual language and develop a new perception. Verity wants drivers to treat cyclists with respect and safety. As a result, more women will be encouraged to ride their bikes.
The jacket was created as part of Verity’s graduate project for his BA Product Design course. The jacket received overwhelmingly positive feedback, which resulted in its display at Part 2 of the New Designers Exhibition at London’s Business Design Centre in July.
Both designers and architects are always trying to improve roadway safety for drivers and cyclists in the UK. In response to many cyclist deaths in 2013, the volume of proposals has significantly increased. Other proposals included Norman Foster’s idea to build a network of elevated cycle pathways above London’s railways. Additionally, a cycling organization came up with an idea of developing a truck that doesn’t have a blind spot.
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