This post is also available in: Ελληνικα (Greek)
If you train outside with limited or no light, you should seriously consider high visibility reflective sportswear. In reality, wearing garments that make you visible on a dark road is just as important as wearing sportswear that keep you warm and dry while you train on a winter afternoon.
So many of us like to train after a tiring day at work. If your sport is running or biking, then you are probably often on the road after dusk. During the winter months, especially, it gets dark early. Light can be scarce even on a high traffic road.
Why you need reflective sportswear
The risk of being struck by a vehicle as a pedestrian, jogger, or biker increases by 4 times under conditions of poor lighting. It is estimated that 75% of accidents that kill pedestrians happen during the nighttime, dusk, or dawn. These are the hours when a vehicle driver might not see you on the road, especially if you wear dark clothes. Don’t assume that you’ll be able to get out of the way of a car headed on you. You should never underestimate how fast a vehicle can go. Nor overestimate your ability to react quickly to danger. Furthermore, you should not overestimate the driver’s ability to realize you are on their path and to react adequately in just a few seconds.
If you want to avoid accidents, it is important to dress as to stay visible when you train outside. The best way to stay visible is by wearing high visibility reflective sportswear.
What are high visibility garments
High visibility sportswear aims at making you visible to vehicle drivers and pedestrians, in order to avoid collisions and accidents. High visibility clothing is traditionally mandatory for a number of professionals, such as the police, airport employees, construction workers etc, because they are essential in avoiding accidents due to poor visibility. This is why they are increasingly used by individuals such as bicyclists, pedestrians, and joggers who put safety on the road first.
High-visibility clothing is either made of fluorescent fabric or has added reflective tape or shapes. Ideally, your sportswear could combine both fluorescent and reflective materials to keep you visible any time of the day or night.
Fluorescent color garments
Fluorescent colors (yellow but also red, pink, green, or orange) are used to ensure visibility during the day, when natural light is available. Fluorescent material makes colors more vivid when hit by light. They work even in conditions of fog, rainy weather or fading daylight.
Fluorescent colors do not work in the dark, though, so fluorescent garments cannot keep you safe if you train in the dark.
Reflective tapes, letters, or forms are used to ensure you are visible after dusk, when natural light is scarce or inexistent. Light from other sources (such as car headlights or streetlights) bounces off the reflective parts of the garment without scattering it, and makes them glow.
It has been found that reflective materials can help drivers to see you three seconds sooner at night – which could be the difference between a close call and a life-threatening accident. Even better, research indicates that, during nighttime, you should have several reflective areas on your body. It is suggested that you should have reflective materials on all moving parts of your body – arms, legs, your bike wheels, to allow drivers not only to see you but also to identify you faster as a moving human on their path.
Reflective materials do not work with daylight, and thus cannot protect you during day trainings.
How to make yourself highly visible on a dark road
Choose the right reflective sportswear
There is a wide choice of high visibility clothes available for you to choose the right garment: there are high visibility vests, hats, t-shirts, jackets, and leggings to cover any need.
Combine several high visibility garments: use a reflective top and reflective leggings to cover both the arms and the legs. Chose garments with reflective strips both on the front and on the back, as well as on your arms and legs, to maximize visibility.
If you are carrying a jacket to wear after your training over your reflective training garments, make sure it also has reflective areas, otherwise it will cover your reflective garment and make you invisible again.
High visibility gear does not have to be the “ugly” yellow sleeveless vest. High visibility sportswear can be fun, smart, and comfortable. If you want to find out more, visit Athlon’s Reflective Clothing page.
Add reflective accessories
Multiply reflective areas to maximize how visible you are to vehicle drivers.
You can add reflective bands on your wrists and/or ankles. On your bicycle you will probably indicate your direction by extending your arm. In this case, a reflective wrist band is particularly useful.
You should also think about adding reflective accessories to your training equipment. Front, back, and wheel reflectors are a must on your bicycle if you are training after dusk. If you are walking and carry a walking stick, you can add reflective tape on it.
Whether you train next to a busy road with high traffic where you become invisible in the crowd, or on a low circulation road where drivers may not expect to find you at the curb, stay safe by making yourself visible.
For reflective sportswear with your own logo /design, contact Athlon! We will create the perfect reflective garment for you.