The statistics are staggering! According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4884 people were killed in pedestrian versus vehicle crashes in 2014 alone. That number doesn’t include an additional 726 cyclists who were killed that same year in motor vehicle crashes. That translates to 12 pedestrians killed by motor vehicles every day. In addition, you still have to add another 65,000 pedestrians who were seriously injured that same year but luckily survived.
These are some scary facts when you think about how many of those accidents could have been prevented. What is the top reason drivers give for hitting a pedestrian? You guessed it! They never saw the pedestrian coming. There are many factors that can limit a driver’s visibility, including weather, alcohol consumption, sleep deprivation, and of course, the time of day. However, there are things that you can do to reduce your chances of becoming a statistic.
How often do you look forward to going for a walk, run, or bike ride in the evening or early hours of the morning? It’s peaceful, and there’s usually less traffic so we sometimes let our guard down. It’s not always possible to find a crosswalk or ideal location to cross the street. We may be tempted to take the risk of crossing not knowing that there’s a car speeding right around the corner. Furthermore, if we are in a designated crosswalk, we still run the risk of getting hit, especially during darkness. Sometimes you may blend into the background, making it hard for a driver to see you. Just like you wouldn’t drive a car without wearing your seat belt, you shouldn’t run in low visibility without a reflective vest.
Do I Really Need a Reflective Vest?
Police officers, firefighters, EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians) and other first responders depend on and are mandated to wear a reflective vest. It’s not because they’re not careful. It’s because they know the hazards of being on public roads. Unfortunately, too many emergency personnel have been run over while performing non-life-threatening tasks such as directing traffic and providing first aid.
The major reason people wear gear with reflective stripes is for VISIBILITY! There’s no other way to get around it unless you want to light a smokestack, carry it on your person, and run around with it. Joking aside, wear a headlamp or lighting device on your head or armband is another option. It may seem like a good alternative, but you risk running out of battery and not having the light available when you actually need it. Therefore, wearing a reflective vest is your best option!
Aside from not needing a power source, a vest is lightweight, adjustable, and fits right over your clothing so you can also share it with others. It has clearly marked lines to let people know that you’re there even if you can’t see them coming, like when you’re running or walking in the direction of traffic.
We have an obligation to ourselves and our loved ones to do what we can to try to prevent accidents. Improve your visibility with the help of a reflective vest as offered by Fitletic. At the very least, it’s a safety device that will give you peace of mind knowing you are visible in the darkness.