Earlier this month, Swedish car manufacturer Volvo launched its very own high-visibility spray called LifePaint.
According to its makers, the spray, which is being trialled in a handful of bike shops around London, is aimed at increasing the visibility and safety of cyclists and other vulnerable road users.
The spray uses special adhesives that are invisible in the day, but glow brightly at night time under the glare of streetlights and headlamps. Not only can Volvo LifePaint be applied to any fabric – shoes, clothing, backpack, helmet – it can also be applied to your bike, without causing any damage, and it’s easy to wash off.
LifePaint is a part of Volvo’s ‘2020 vision’ mission statement that by “2022, no person will be killed, or seriously injured, by a new Volvo.”
“Every year more than 19,000 cyclists are injured on the UK’s roads,” says Managing Director at Volvo Car UK, Nick Connor. “We believe that the best way to survive a crash is not to crash, and are committed to making the roads a safer place by reducing the number of accidents.”
But it’s this kind of statement that is causing controversy. Cyclists do want to survive crashes, but whether those crashes occur isn’t bike riders’ decision to make. And when Volvo’s small print states that “cycle safety is the cyclist’s responsibility”, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that they’re missing the big picture.
So is Volvo’s LifePaint a potential life-saver or a mere marketing ploy? And does the stuff even work? Cycling Weekly investigates in the video above.