Being visible on the roads is an important safety feature. And it reduces the validity of a driver’s defense of “I’m sorry, with high visibility clothing
Materials suitable and how to do we work on them?
Products may be described as being fluorescent or reflective (or both). Fluorescent bib tight materials convert invisible UV light into visible light, therefore, making objects stand out. Reflective materials (such as Scotch lite and reflective material) use a technology known as retro reflection. Retro reflection occurs when light rays are return in the direction from which they came (e.g. light from a car’s headlights would reflect back from the Scotch lite Reflective Materials making the strips shine brightly in the dark).
The most visible products are typically yellow (rather than orange) with bands of 3M’s Scotch lite ™ Reflective material. At night the bands are what reflect the car head lights whilst in daylight the yellow color is what is most visible. For maximum protection, buy a product that combines both fluorescent materials and reflective materials.
There are a limited number of fully compliant, reflective tape manufacturers on the market. The big three are 3M, (supplied for example also for use on life jackets). These are the preferred choice of the emergency services and such, have proven manufacturing and performance criteria.
There are two European Standards applicable to high visibility garments:
EN471 – aimed at professional users, Emergency services, Highway maintenance and air-side airport staff.EN1150 – for non-professional use, jogging, cycling or other traffic related interaction.
All compliance garments must be marked with CE and the relevant standard.
In relation to the EN471:2003 stander there are 3 classes of garment type based on the levels on conspicuous they provide. On all garments, the retro-reflective tape must not be less than 50mm wide. Each of the standards effectively indicates the minimum surface area’s of both background material and retro-reflective material that is visible, for a given person height. Note that the only approved colors are yellow and orange.
High visibility clothing garments conforming to these two standards are capable of signalling the user’s presence visually and intend to provide conspicuous for the user in situations under any light condition, both by day and under illumination by vehicle headlights in the dark. And finally, you may also see the EN13356 standard which is for accessories for non-standard use (for example for armbands, stickers etc). Generally – the products advertised for cyclists tend to be EN471 CLASS2 products.
High visibility clothing products
The range or products available includes jackets, cycling gloves, cycling jersey, waistcoats, trousers, helmet covers, Sam Browne belts, rucksack covers, bum bags, arm bands and leg bands and much more. There are a huge number of companies selling products.