Motorbike leathers are there to protect riders from injury, as well as to keep them warm while riding in colder climates. But darker leather jackets, which are some of the most popular available, also have an obvious downside: They make bikers difficult to see in the dark.
This poses a clear safety risk for riders, which a new Kickstarter campaign wants to help lessen. Manufactured by French company Raylier, the “first luminous jacket for bikers” promises to make bikers more visible on the road — courtesy of various embedded LED strips. These can be switched on with the simple press of a button on the jacket’s belt. The aim is reduce the number of fatalities on the road, of which bikers currently represent around 18 percent.
“More than 60 percent of bikers’ accidents are due to a lack of visibility,” Baptiste Rosay, one of the co-founders of Raylier, told Digital Trends. “Thanks to our jacket, we improve their visibility in order to avoid crashes and save their lives. More than visibility, we improve the communication with the road users. A warning mode will make the jacket blink and improve visibility in risky situations. A brake light works autonomously, thanks to an on-board accelerometer. It intensifies the rear lights when slowing down.”
Rosay said that the jacket is made of a super tough leather, which is higher quality than the materials used by competitors at a similar price range. Each jacket is also equipped with a visco-elastic protective shell. This is crucially important since — if there does happen to be an accident — the jacket should help reduce the risk or severity of injuries. The jackets are also stylishly designed. While the LED light strips are instantly noticeable when they are switched on, when they’re turned off they won’t attract attention.
As ever, we offer our warnings about the potential risks inherent in crowdfunding campaigns. These can involve projects which don’t ship on time, products which don’t ship as described, or — at worst — sometimes even products which don’t ship at all. However, if you’re aware of these risks and still want to get it involved, head over to the project’s Kickstarter page. Prices for a jacket start at 540 euros (around $615). Shipping is planned to take place in February 2019.