YouTurn: Car Blinkers for Bicyclists

YouTurn: Car Blinkers for Bicyclists

Project aims to improve bike safety through motion-detecting indicator lights

 

Most cyclists probably have no problem signaling turns with their arms just so long as drivers remember that a left arm pointed up means a right turn and not an imminent launch into space. (I wish. Someone get on inventing a bicycle with jet extensions. Not for everyday use--fuel efficiency, you know, is kind of our thing--but in case you're headed towards an unavoidable obstacle and have to hit the equivalent of the eject button. Only less deadly. And then you're flying. On your bike. Awesome!) For those amateur types like me, however, signaling with an arm out means a risky struggle to keep my balance on my vintage Schwinn that's barely keeping its bolts together. Unlike the lead singer of the Flobots, I'm not one of those people who's skilled enough to let go of the controls when I'm riding the old two-wheeler. Thankfully, there are people who keep my incompetence in mind. 

Or one person, at the very least. Jack O'Neal of Portland, Oregon is currently seeking funding to develop what he's calling the YouTurn. It's a glove embedded with lights that interprets your hand motions and signals appropriately. It sounds a hell of a lot safer than waving at drivers, even if you're a super skilled cyclist. Not every driver will be keeping an eye out for arm motions, and not all of them will even know what they indicate. By strapping lights to your hand and flashing them to turn, you're speaking the same language as the people in the big, scary cars. And when you're riding up against literal tons of projectile steel piloted by people who might not be used to your bikerly presence, it's probably good for everybody to be speaking the same language.

O'Neal is seeking to raise $50,000 by September 24th on Kickstarter. A $50 pledge will not only put him that much closer to his goal, it'll reserve you a pair of the sweet blinkers, too. Bump it up to $300 and you'll get a limited edition prototype handmade by the inventor. $500 will get you the prototype and a dinner date with Mr. O'Neal himself. You'll also get the fancy title of "executive contributor". Nice. The project will only be funded if Jack hits his goal, and anyone can donate a minimum of a dollar from now until the end of September. Head on over to Kickstarter and show your support for bike safety innovation.