A recent bike safety report from The League of American Bicyclists found that most fatal bike accidents originate from something behind the rider. While being visible is certainly much of the battle to stay alive and pedaling, it's also about knowing the dangers behind you so you can evade. (Growing up, my dad always said, "Assume that the cars can't see you," and he was right.)
But in certain situations, it can be tricky to know exactly what and when to evade. Say, on a loud city street or when a silent-but-deadly Prius sneaks up on a country road. Looking to make you—and the driver—aware of your shared proximity, Backtracker turns to some cool radar technology.
Mounted on the back of the bike, radar sensors can detect potential killing machines up to 160 meters away, alerting the rider of their presence using a nifty, handlebar-mounted gizmo.
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The Backtracker radar system also has a set of LEDs that help oncoming cars see you better. As a car approaches, the flashes from the rear light get more frequent to help capture the driver's attention.
The device is definitely a much more complicated accessory than a mirror—the standard for rear visibility—but the smart rear light is certainly something that improves over the current setup.
We're currently in the process of getting one of these and we're going to test it out on the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn—where better? We'll report back soon.