Why the Best Running Clothes Help You to Be Seen
When creating running clothes, most athletic clothing companies put the focus on comfort, style, and the latest fashion trends. This is fine for many of their customers, because they’re buying clothes to work out in the gym, or even just to run errands or lounge around the house. Some of their customers though are people who like to exercise in outside environments, where they’re in close proximity to cars, and they need to be seen by oncoming traffic. This is why running clothing that helps you be seen is extremely important.
For runners, even more than cyclists, one could make the argument that wearing fluorescent clothing is vital, because runners don’t have flashing lights or spinning wheels to catch the attention of drivers like many cyclists do. For that reason, runners who find themselves in areas with large volumes of traffic should pay just as much attention to their running clothing choices as cyclists do.
Fluorescent Clothing and Accident Statistics
A common misconception is that running or cycling in broad daylight is safe because drivers will be able to see runners and cyclists clearly. While it’s easier to see your surroundings when driving during the day, a report released by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association in 2015 found that it is much more dangerous to ride at night when roughly 50% of accidents occur and ridership is much lighter than during daylight hours. This may give daytime riders a false sense of security that they are inherently safe. But the number of serious incidents during the day versus at night is about 50/50. If anything, wearing a fluorescent running jersey or cycling jersey (if you’re a cyclist) during the day is even more beneficial because the sun reflects off of the jersey and makes the person really stand out. For running or cycling at night, we believe strongly that while fluorescent clothing provides a small advantage, no clothing, even with reflective strips, is really effective for the night. For cyclists, very bright LED lighting is now available and definitely should be used.
Sometimes accidents occur because of new drivers who lack experience or because someone is driving recklessly, but a significant number of collisions happen simply because the driver did not see the cyclist or the runner until it was too late. According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, the most commonly cited reason for bicycle/vehicle collisions is that someone involved in the accident ‘failed to look properly’.
This doesn’t always mean that people aren’t checking their blind spots; sometimes drivers are looking but not fully seeing. Runners and cyclists are trusting that the drivers around them are aware of their surroundings and paying attention at all times, but unfortunately that’s not always the case. The American National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that distracting driving and texting while driving, in particular, are responsible for a rapidly growing percentage of motor vehicle/bicycle crashes. Here again, very high visibility cycling or running clothing may make the driver see the individual earlier and prevent an incident. After hitting an all time low in 2010, bicycle and pedestrian fatalities as well as general motor vehicle deaths are rising rapidly since then. This is generally attributed to distracted driving.
The Danish and the Importance of Being Visible
So, what can be done to make drivers more aware of cyclists and runners on the road? For those who aren’t driving vehicles, wearing fluorescent clothing is one of the easiest safety measures you can take. In a Danish study that was conducted in late 2017, fluorescent clothing was tested against regular clothing to see if it really made a difference in the safety of the cyclists. The study involved 6,793 cyclists who were randomly assigned into either a test group that wore a fluorescent bicycle jacket, or a control group that did not. The cyclists in the test group reported an accident rate (accidents per person per month) that was 47% lower than the participants in the control group.
Denmark is known as one of the best places in the world for cycling; using a bike as a primary mode of transportation is very common and they currently have 11 national cycle routes, or bike-bahns, of roughly 7,500 miles that run throughout their cities. Still, accidents happen everywhere, and even when drivers are expecting to see cyclists, they may not notice all of them or be able to react in time. After the participants in this study wore a fluorescent cycling jacket for one year, the number of accidents they were involved in decreased significantly — accidents being defined by the study as instances where the cyclist “had been toppled and/or injured” or “had been in contact with a counterpart” among other things.
Cyclists in the test group did not have to wear the jacket every single time they rode a bike, but the participants that wore it very frequently actually saw a reduction in their risk of an accident that was even greater than 47%. While this study did not include walkers and runners, it’s only logical that they would also benefit from fluorescent clothing as a defense against drivers who are not paying proper attention to the road and the cyclists and pedestrians and runners who share it with them.
How See Me Wear Running Jerseys Can Help
Differentiating one’s appearance by wearing bright neon colors can grab the attention of a distracted driver and help prevent a devastating accident. Evidence suggests that cyclists are actually better drivers than others because they’re conditioned to be alert on the road, and they pay more attention to the changes that happen around them as they drive. Because cyclists are consistently aware of their surroundings, it’s important for them not to overestimate how much other drivers are paying attention when cycling.
The logic that people use to justify things like texting and driving is that they are excellent drivers and they can handle that kind of multitasking, despite what the statistics say. Similarly, cyclists and runners will sometimes assume they don’t need to worry about their visibility because they always pay attention and have never been hit by a car in their many years of running and/or cycling. It’s important to remember that it only takes one chance meeting between a distracted driver and an unnoticed cyclist or runner to become a statistic.
See Me Wear has been making high quality fluorescent cycling clothing for years, so we felt that it was important to reach out to runners. Now, if you’re a runner, then we think you’ll love our new running jersey, because of its many advantages. It’s a 100% polyester jersey with a special treatment to enhance wicking and keep you dry even on the hottest days. Our running jersey has non-elastic sleeves and a non-elastic waist, so there’s no annoying pressure or clinging as you run: it just falls free for ultimate comfort.
In every kind of light condition, such as fog, drizzle, or when it’s overcast, See Me Wear running clothes will help make you more visible to drivers, cyclists and everyone else. Check out our line of fluorescent running jerseys, perfect for cycling, running, or walking.