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New technology for cyclists could be a breakthrough

Washington offers lush opportunities for cyclists, whether you’re getting from point A to point B in downtown Seattle or looking for a scenic route along Elliott Bay Trail. Sadly, cyclists also have to be aware of the many dangers around them, particularly motor vehicles.

Dedicated bike lanes, reflectors and safety wear help motorists see and avoid cyclists, but the frequency of bicycle accidents suggests that more could be done to prevent tragedy. As with many modern problems, technology may contribute to a solution.

Your helmet may soon do more to keep you safe than break your fall. A French startup recently released a "smart” brake light that attaches to most helmets with a strong magnet. This device contains motion sensors, red and yellow LED lights, a handlebar remote and wireless connection to an app on the user’s phone.

According to the company, Cosmo, the device offers several features. First, the light can improve your visibility at night. In addition, the light will brighten on one side as a turn signal or flash when you slow down. Sensors in the device can discern your acceleration as well as when you fall. In the event of an accident, the mobile app can pick up these signals to automatically contact both emergency responders and your loved ones.

However, consumers should still be skeptical of new safety products. It is unclear how the device was tested for accuracy or its effect on preventing traffic accidents. Of course, no safety product can guarantee that you won’t get in an accident. Even with the extra light, negligent drivers may still not see cyclists.

The prospect of better crash prevention is valuable to everyone on the road. When taking extra safety measures fails, you should have a plan for after an accident including medical assistance and contact information for a reliable personal injury attorney.

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