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Is High-Visibility Clothing Actually Safe?

Is High-Visibility Clothing Actually Safe?
January 10, 2019 T King
In Uncategorized

This is a widely debated question with people being divided. Reasons as to why they’re not safe and why hi vis clothing is safe. I will give evidence for both sides and you can decide for yourself.

Proof High-Visibility clothing is safe:

Hi Vis is necessary because people need to stay safe at work. Those who fix railways and road workers have to wear a Hi Vis waistcoat, trousers, coats, basically make themselves visible to everyone, these types of jobs are high-risk situations but there are plenty of examples. Hi Vis goes down as a piece of PPE which stands for Personal Protective Equipment.

Hi Vis is popular with cyclists and those who choose to hunt, this is to prevent accidents occurring and people can see them when it’s difficult to see what is outside, i.e. when it’s foggy or dark outside. For those who work outside or a high risk job must wear these not only for safety reasons but also for comfort, for example a firefighter has to wear a full Hi Vis suit to define who is also a firefighter, so they can see each other and it’s practical, you will never see a firefighter wearing black jeans and a top to do their job. The Hi Vis keeps them safe, comfy and able to do their job. These clothes are lightweight as well as offering high breathability with mesh venting under the arms. People won’t find it as difficult to work.

A 2006 review by health network Cochrane of 42 studies found that drivers were more likely to see pedestrians and cyclists in fluorescent clothing during the day rather than night. However, it did also say that the use of lights or reflective clothing improves cyclists being seen at night.

An interesting experiment

A study back in 2010 conducted experiments with cyclists in various types of clothing. It focused on seeing what drivers found most distinctive and recognisable. It found that only a small 2% of drivers could recognise cyclists in dark or black clothing. When cyclists were asked to wear hi vis clothing, the percentage changed from to all the way to 15%. The percentage shot up to 90% when cyclists wore hi vis vests and both ankle and knee reflectors. Drivers said they could see the cyclists’ legs moving as well as their top half.

The need of this clothing extends to just safety at work. It’s actually an aesthetic appeal in fashion at this moment in fashion time, so how could it possibly even be considering to be unsafe?

Evidence Hi Vis clothing is Possibly Unsafe: 

Recently there was a policeman motorcyclist who wasn’t spotted by a van driver. The van driver claims it didn’t even see the police officer with hi vis gear, flashing lights and sirens. There is a video to prove this as well, Click here to view the video. This video comes as a ‘Monash University report into motorcycle accidents suggest riders and bikes be more visible’. Truth be told how can a biker make themselves more noticeable, hi vis clothing, bright lights and in that video, the sirens were going off, yet that van completely disregarded him, and a major accident could have occurred.

The report, quaintly titled “Current Trends in Motorcycle-Related Crash and Injury Risk in Australia by Motorcycle Type and Attributes” suggests promoting hi vis motorcycle clothing and research into its effects as well as suggesting increasing motorcycle visibility technology such as modulating headlights. Most riders resist mandatory hi vis gear as is required for Victorian novice riders and France where riders have to carry a hi vis vest to wear the vest during a breakdown, multiple cyclists report that even with Hi Vis they’re not seen, and the video above proves it in a way.

Does This Mean Hi Vis Clothing Can Be Dangerous?

Possibly, the video shows a van driver disregarding a policeman on his bike and can make it look like Hi Vis is useless but that wasn’t a case of not noticing, young drivers nowadays don’t pay as much attention to the roads now due to phones, talking to others in the car and focusing on one area of driving as they’re unconfident, however there are even older drivers who don’t always pay attention, it’s simply not fair to say Hi Vis is unsafe with one main piece of evidence.

But there is another piece of evidence. In the news (The Echo) it is said that three people were gunned down and the criminals were in fact both wearing green hi vis jackets. If the criminal is in a hi vis vest it’s not easy to know just who he is, yes, it’s bright and noticeable but there are reasons for him to wear it the biggest one being most people would accuse him of being a simple construction worker or highway worker therefore making himself blend in.

Is There Such thing Of Too Much Hi Vis?

The question is answered depending on your views. I believe there is such thing. This is simply because people can abuse the power of the item.  This can be purchased anywhere and although its goal is to enhance safety it can’t always offer that. Anyone can be a victim of crime and wearing an illuminated jacket doesn’t help you hide, I’m talking with fashion as having hi vis coats, shoes, trousers, tops etc are massive in fashion.

However, for business reasons I believe there is no such thing as too much hi vis for safety reasons. Construction workers need to know who their colleges are at nighttime. Not only this, but being comfortable in their work gear and it can show off your business. There is a way to prevent criminals using ordinary hi vis jackets as a getaway. You can do this by purchasing your own branded hi vis clothing with your logo. You can check us out here And put a stop to crime and stop giving criminals easy getaways.

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