Exceptional Visibility, Exceptional Safety: Reflectors on the Road
When it comes to road safety, few concepts are more important than visibility. When we take our first driving lesson, for example, we are told to "mirror, signal, maneuver"; we look first, advertise our intention second, and move last. Ever since, then we have had the importance of good quality headlamps, of turning signals, of all manner of other highly visible pieces of kit demonstrated to us again and again.
So how can we enhance this visibility even further? How can we make sure that we can see and be seen on the road? Reflectors play a big role in ensuring this.
Enhancing Visibility at Night
When visibility is reduced - for example, during heavy rain, during foggy conditions, or even just because of nightfall - it naturally becomes more difficult to recognize other road users as they appear in the space around you.
This is because powerful lights on a vehicle might not be enough to secure visibility. These light beams certainly help, and are better than nothing, but the light must interact with the surface it hits if it is to be visible. A reflective surface is far more effective than a standard surface in this regard, which is what makes reflectors so useful.
Reflectors on Vehicles and Clothing
So how can reflectors be applied in a way that improves safety and driving efficiency? Probably the most popular way is to attach reflective strips to protective and emergency clothing. For example, if you have a problem with your car in bad weather and have to step out onto the road, reflective strips on your jacket or coat make it far more easy for other drivers to see you.
The same applies to vehicles and vehicle accessories. Drivers are recommended to put high visibility signs around their vehicle if they break down, and these will be covered in reflective strips to make them more easy to spot. Drivers may also opt to attach reflectors directly to their vehicle to enhance the effectiveness of the head or tail lamps.
Reflectors on Traffic Signs
We can put reflectors anywhere that we wish to increase visibility. Reflectors do not dazzle other road users, and do not emit light of their own, making them perfect for use on the road. Cheap, low maintenance, and highly effective; reflectors are a dream for local authorities and drivers alike.
Attaching reflectors to traffic signs or to sign poles is becoming increasingly common, particularly in areas where drivers may have to recognize and react to the signs quickly. We can expect to see this practice increasing even further in the near future.