According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the average number of fatal pedestrian accidents climbs 400 percent when the sun goes down. Similarly, road construction workers face similar increases in danger from low visibility. That is why professionals buy and use high visibility work wear.
Now, technology may have better solutions for both.
In the last decade, the use of soft, flexible circuitry in clothing has grown as technology has improved. Conductive fabric, thread or yarn, as well as microprocessors can be sewn into cloth. In effect, clothing itself can ‘light up’ in the dusk, twilight or dark. These LED fashions are destined to replace the reflective wear we all know so well.
For now, however, roadwork professionals as well as walkers, runners and recreational or commuting bikers should continue to wear reflective clothing anytime they are on the road after sunset. Increasing your visibility to drivers can dramatically improve your chances to return home safely.
A driver traveling at 45 mph needs 195′ of stopping distance to prevent an accident. If you are a commuter cycling to work on heavily congested roads with speeds of 50-55 mph drivers need approximately 300′ of stopping distance. To allow ample driver/reaction time you need to be visible at well over 300′ to avoid being hit by passing vehicles.
By the way, if you’re thinking, “I’m in a car when I go through a work zone so at least I’m safe,” the Federal Highway Administration has some news for you: four of every five victims in a work zone crash are motorists, not highway workers.
But for you outdoors types, the challenge for the athletic apparel manufacturers has been to be creative in their designs by offering the brightest colors with the highest visibility along with 360 degrees of reflective detailing to maximize your visibility keeping you safe from potential danger. Each season brings brighter colors and more reflective detailing, newer styles and better quality to ensure you are comfortable and visible no matter what time of day your work-out begins or ends.
Soon enough, however, your visibility may be as easy as hitting the ON switch.
It’s an illuminating thought.
FeurySafety is a leading provider workplace safety apparel in North America. Our garments provide flame-resistant protection, high visibility, comfort, and durability for workers in industries such as chemical, oil, gas, mining and petrochemical; electrical utilities, aviation, manufacturing, construction and security. DressSafe, WorkSafe.