Walking Safety Night Visibility
is danger in the dark - the biggest being vehicles that don't expect
you or can't see you. Drivers cannot easily see you through fogged
windows and poor weather, and their night vision dims as they age.
Wearing a dark jacket and dark pants, you are as invisible as a ninja
during your early morning or evening walks in the winter darkness. And
what driver thinks anybody insane enough to walk in winter? We need to
walk defensively and take pains to be visible.
on reflectivity: Wearing reflective clothing is a good defense against
invisibility, but you need to be sure that the reflective areas are
large enough and and are exposed from every angle. Do oncoming cars see
you, but not those at side streets? Will that little reflective logo on
your shirt be enough - especially if you hide it under a jacket?
Shoes:Most running shoes now have reflective stripes and many tout
their "360 degree reflective" features. A pair of Asics I have even
appear to have reflective soles! If your walking shoes don't have such
features, consider a pair of reflective shoelaces or put some reflective
tape on your shoes.
Reflective Clothing:Your best for finding
reflective clothing is in a running store or a bicycling shop, or the
running and bicycling sections of large sporting goods stores.
Reflective Outerwear: In winter, wearing an extra vest or a reflective jacket can also help keep you warm. DontGetHit.com has reflective vests, belts, stickers, tape, dog collars...
Wristbands and Hats: In preparation for Portland-to-Coast, I bought
reflective velcro wristbands to wear on wrists and ankles, a reflective
sweatband and a reflective cycling hat. Walking narrow country roads at
night and being passed by 2000 vans of competitors, I didn't want
anybody to miss me, or rather I wanted them to see me and then miss me!
This was in addition to a highly reflective vest and a
Tape it Up: The fastest way to become reflective is to buy reflective tape
and apply it to your favorite walking garments.