Garmin recently announced their latest line of sport-centric devices. The Varia Rearview Bike Radar and Smart Bike Lights are designed to keep road cyclists safer, particularly from cars coming up behind.
The bike radar uses a sensor that sits beneath the saddle to detect approaching cars from up to 153 yards away. That sensor can detect as many as eight vehicles and also doubles as a rear light that increases intensity and blinking frequency as vehicles get closer.
The radar is compatible with some of Garmin’s other bike computers, or you can get the stand-alone display that sits between the handlebars. With a reported 40 percent of all cycling fatalities in the U.S. attributed to a rear-end collision, according to the League of American Bicyclists, this new technology seems to fill a need.
Ahead of the summer release, though, some cyclists have reservations. Many are simply tired of buying gadgets and clothing to protect themselves against distracted drivers. Others are wondering if they’re expected to leap off their cycles when cars and trucks get too close.
It seems that the device’s effectiveness will be tested soon. The Varia radar rear light is available for $199, if paired with the display, it’s $299.