They mightn’t be the smartest fashion accessory, but those reflective strips you sometimes see cyclists and joggers wearing at night, are by far the cleverest choice.
Injuries are five times more likely to happen at night, but researchers at the Queensland University of Technology have discovered that cyclists are unaware of the benefits of wearing reflective bands.
“Although they believe conspicuity (being visible) is essential for their safety, they prioritised style or comfort over wearing reflective clothing,” said the University’s Professor Joanne Wood.
The researchers found that most cyclists, and joggers believed that flashing lights and fluorescent clothing were enough to keep them safe from motorists.
But they were wrong.
“Reflective material on the moveable joints (wrists, ankles, knees and elbows) can strongly enhance night- time conspicuity by creating a sense of biological motion, or biomotion for drivers,” said Professor Wood.
“Our visual perception of biological motion is extremely sensitive, which allows us to quickly and accurately recognise a moving person ahead and the characteristics of their movements,” she said.
“This increases drivers’ ability to recognise cyclists and runners from a safe distance in time for them to avoid a collision.”
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