Wednesday, March 11, 2015

3 Reasons To Wear Reflective Clothing While Running or Biking in the Dark

***The following is a fitness/safety guest post from a non-profit sister site RunReflective.com.***

For some daylight savings means a little less sleep but for others who are active on the road in the early morning it might be the difference between life and death.



With the recent change in daylight savings more athletes are hitting the roads at darker hours in the morning. Gone are the days where reflective clothing was only worn by the overly cautious. With more distracted drivers on the roads it is now considered a wise, accepted and necessary practice for runners, walkers and bikers. Below are 3 reasons why these athletes should consider adding reflective clothing to their running attire if they have not already.


More drivers are distracted
Never has it been so dangerous to be active on the road at night or early in the morning. Although laws are in place so that drivers do not text while driving many unfortunately still do. The average time and distance that a person takes their eyes off the road to text while driving is equal to driving the length of a football field blindfolded. Texting is more dangerous to drivers and pedestrians than a person driving with more than the double the legal blood alcohol limit. Many of these texters are also new teenage drivers which is a very dangerous combination. As a runner and cyclist it is more important than ever to do everything we can do be seen by distracted drivers.


White clothing is not enough
As I have talked to people about our Nonprofit RunReflective.com campaign some have asked “Isn’t it enough to just wear white clothing?” and the answer is no! It is a simple explanation of math. At 40 miles an hour it takes a car, in good driving conditions, 200 ft to stop. In the dark a driver can see a person wearing reflective clothing at over 1000 ft away with plenty of time to maneuver or stop if needed.  A person wearing all white cannot be seen until 200 ft away; the exact distance that it takes a car to stop. A 800 ft difference than reflective clothing!  If you throw in any distraction, bad road conditions or more speed a driver would not be able to stop in time to avoid hitting a pedestrian in all white clothing even if they see them. A person wearing all black, like many runners used to do, is not seen until they are 50 ft away. This means that a driver could potentially see a runner in black, not be able to stop in time, hit them and still not be able to stop for another 150 ft! 8 out of 10 drivers that hit runners, walkers or bikers at night did not see them before they hit them.


Reflective clothing won’t cramp your style it’s just the opposite
When asked online what drivers thought of runners wearing reflective clothing drivers overwhelmingly expressed appreciation to athletes on the streets who made it easier to be seen. Some drivers even mentioned that they at times stop to thank runners for wearing reflective.


Stylish stripes and flashing lights that are well seen in the dark now dominate styles in outdoor fitness fashion. Most runners and sports clothing manufacturers are realizing that reflective clothing has become a necessity and a well accepted practice for most who love the sport. Fluorescent colors which are always best seen right before and after the sun starts to come up are also popular and in demand. There are many varieties of reflective clothing and flashing lights that will suit almost any cyclist or running style. Minimalists can still wear the bear necessities such as bands, hats, shoes or vests that are breathable, lightweight and made for serious endurance athletes.  

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