Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hand-mounted blinky turn signals... ?

Jack O'Neal of Portland has invented some motion-activated LED-blinky turn signals, mounted on the back of bicycling gloves. Theoretically they will make urban cycling safer, by providing better visibility of cyclist turn-intentions to other roadway users.

Story HERE.

He's trying to secure $50K in startup capital. He thinks they'll sell - and people will buy - for $50 or less.

If I did much cycling in nighttime or overcast conditions, I'd probably be more interested. They may be a hit in a place like Portland, where the sun doesn't shine quite as often.

My own strategy is to be aware of traffic in front of me, to the sides of me, and behind me (using a rearview mirror), pick my openings carefully, never be unpredictable, and signal my intentions. I've never had even a close call. (I regularly see cyclists putting themselves in peril by riding in a more "squirrely" fashion.)

Here's a suggestion... how about if motorists signal when they're turning? Oft-times, that seems secondary in importance, if they're holding a phone or a beverage in their turn-signal hand. And then they get uppity if I don't read their mind.

(I liked one reader's comment - I had the same thought - "Forget this. Give me one with the LEDs lining the length of the fingers. I like to make my middle finger visible at night.")

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