Winter is coming - and it's dark in the morning...
The dark time is approaching and that means that unfortunately for a while we have to live with it being pitch black in the morning when we have to go to school and work. At the same time as the dark mornings come, the risk also increases that it will rain or maybe even snow while we transport ourselves to either school or work. This means that visibility for all road users is significantly reduced, which is why we must have found the reflective clothing from the stashes or bought something new. However, it is not completely irrelevant what kind of reflective clothing is chosen and not at all for the dear little ones. After much and thorough scrutiny and examination of reflective clothing and reflectors themselves, here is a short guide to what you should look for.
For a start, it is perhaps appropriate to meet doubters of the effectiveness of reflexes with a little statistics. Contrary to bicycles, where it is legally required to have visible reflectors both front and back as well as on pedals and wheels, there is no legislation on reflectors on clothing. And this despite the fact that, according to the Council for Safe Traffic, it has been proven that using reflective clothing can reduce the risk of road accidents by up to 85%. The Trygfonden, which supplies free reflectors to Danes on request, even encourages people to wear brightly colored clothing in traffic, as this can reduce the risk of accidents by up to 48%. So no doubt that reflectors are necessary to wear when it's dark, but be careful(!) because reflectors are not just reflectors.
A reflex is not just a reflex
Reflectors can vary significantly in quality, which is why it is important to choose reflectors that comply with the technical requirements for visibility. The approval designations to look for on reflectors or in reflective clothing are EN 13356, EN 471, EN 20471 or EN 1150. An important element in these technical requirements specifications for private persons is, among other things, that the reflector must be visible from a distance of at least 140 metres. In addition, reflective clothing or simply reflectors must be equipped with a CE marking, and both that and the above approval markings apply to both children and adults, with the exception of EN 20471, if, for example, a children's traffic vest cannot meet the requirements for this.
Where should the reflectors be located?
It is important to note that, according to the Swedish Transport Agency, it is permitted to use reflectors as design elements on fashion clothes and jackets without necessarily having the above markings, so if you want to be sure of achieving a visibility that is safe and recommended in terms of safety, it is under your own responsibility for looking properly at the markings. Once you have ensured that the reflectors are of proper quality and have the prescribed certifications, the next step is to examine where the reflectors are located. It is important to take a critical view of this, if inappropriate placement on clothes and jackets can easily lead to invisibility on the dark roads.
The Council for Safe Traffic recommends that reflectors must be placed so that they are visible from all sides. This means both on each side as well as on the front and back of the garment. It is also recommended by reflectors, regardless of whether they are sewn on and part of the garment when purchased or whether they are attached afterwards, are located both low and high on the body. So the ideal location is on the upper part of the torso as well as on the lower part of the legs. If you carry a bag on your back or over your shoulder, you must be aware that this can shield your clothes from reflections. It is therefore a good idea to choose a bag with built-in reflectors or attach some reflectors yourself.
Overall, it is therefore a good idea to pay attention to the following:
●Look for the approval markings. These are typically inside the clothes, as shown in the picture below.
●Ensure that the reflectors are positioned so that they are visible from all sides.
●The reflexes should be placed both high and low on the body. That means both on the legs and upper body.
●If you are carrying a bag, it is recommended to also equip it with a reflector, if you do not already have one.
What to buy?
If you do not own outerwear with reflectors and you are therefore considering going out in the dark mornings and not least evenings when buying new clothes for yourself and the children, it is therefore a brilliant idea not only to go for the cheapest alternative, but instead to investigate the certifications and invest in quality. This can be both if you are looking for clothes with reflectors in the design or simply reflectors for sewing on or attaching to clothes and outerwear. It can save lives. Danish FashionForest has made a quite excellent review containing a number of clothing brands for children and adults, which have reflexes according to the regulations, and which are at the same time super smart for both casual and more distinguished occasions. FashionForest
And with the right and safest jackets and clothes, so that both young and old can see in the dark, it's just a matter of enjoying the pleasantness of it being dark until a little late in the morning and again early in the evening and of course fresh climate, like autumn and winter brings with it. And most importantly, even if we wear reflectors, we must look out for each other on the roads and everywhere else.