Night Time Safety Is it really all that dangerous to bike/walk/run at night? Yes. Just Yes. For the first time in 20 years, pedestrian fatalities and injuries are on the increase. Pedestrians are up to seven times more likely to be involved in a fatal collision at night as opposed to in the day. More than 70% of cyclist v. vehicle collisions and fatalities happen at night. 75% of fatalities occur at night. GHSA Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State, 2017There are many factors to blame:
- Increased use of smartphones by distracted drivers and pedestrians.
- Dated road design – cars driving at elevated speeds on roads built for less traffic.
- Fewer – not more – crosswalks mean pedestrians risk crossing at unsafe points.
- More people are walking for health benefits and environmental reasons.
The steady increase in distracted drivers is bad news for everyone competing for space on the
road. Drivers are not looking for you. They’re rushing, yelling, texting, giving a pacifier to a cranky toddler in the back seat. You are not even a little on their minds.
So the more time you can give a driver to see you and avoid you, the better. And that’s the whole game. The more heads-up a driver has, the likelier you’ll be seen. Cars always win. It’s just a matter of degree of injury.
Why Do I Need Extra Reflective Material
Pedestrians consistently overestimate their own visibility. In one study: On average, pedestrians overrated their visibility by 193’ or over two tennis courts. This gives pedestrians a false sense of security, assurance that they’re being seen when they are not. It occurs, in part, because the pedestrian’s environment is darker than the driver’s field of vision—so the pedestrian’s eyes are better adjusted to the darkness and thus overconfidence ensues.
On dry pavement it takes a car traveling 30mph 75’ to stop. A wet surface pushes stopping distance to 125’. A wet surface and a driver eating a bagel while on the phone adds…well, a lot. Increasing your visibility during dark and low-light hours will reduce your risk of being involved in an automobile/pedestrian crash.
Think 360-degree visibility when applying reflective strips so that you will be seen by drivers on all 4 sides of your body.