From a week which started with a ‘Blue Monday’, we’re bringing you some ideas to brighten up your lockdown – literally.
You may be spending much more time indoors this winter, but hopefully you are still able to enjoy walking and cycling in some winter sunshine.
What about on those dull weather days though? Poor weather reduces visibility making it harder for those on the road to see each other. After dark of course, whatever the weather, it’s always more difficult to see and be seen. So taking care to ‘see and be seen’ is especially important at this time of year for all.
Drivers: Look and See
For drivers this means ensuring they really ‘look and see’ other road users; by avoiding distractions such as mobile phones, ensuring windscreens are kept clear of ice or mist and maintaining concentration by only driving when in a fit state to do so.
Why Be Bright?
Whilst the greatest responsibility is on drivers, other road users can play their part too to make it easier to be seen. Wearing or carrying something bright or ‘high vis’ especially when out and about in low light or after dark can help. Here are some tips on how to stay bright at different times, in different situations and for different people.
How to Be Bright?
Different materials help you to be bright at different times. The way you wear or use them also matters.
Reflective for Night
Reflective materials only work after dark. They bounce light back to the source, for example from car headlights onto a cycle reflector and back to the driver so the driver can see where the cyclist is. As reflectors don’t need their own power source they never run out – very eco!
When out and about at night walking, running or cycling if you wear or carry something reflective it can help you to be seen. Putting reflective items on your moving parts eg snapbands on your wrists or ankles is really effective as the movement helps them to be noticed more. Although a small amount of reflective material can have a good effect, a larger reflective area helps more. The reflective strips on a high vis jacket are really effective as they cover you from all angles and because of the distinctive ‘double band and braces’ design make you more recognisable to drivers as a person.
Lights for Night
Lights on your bike at night (white at the front and red at the back) are a legal requirement (as are reflectors) but you can supplement these by adding extra lights to your bags, shoes and clothing when out walking, cycling or running.
Unlike reflectors, lights need their own power source such as batteries, so they are good when there is no other power source around, eg walking the dog in the woods where there are no car headlights. LED lights are the most efficient ones to look out for and these can be steady, flashing or can be in different colours such as our LED Shoe Clips.
Fluorescent for Day and Near Dusk
Fluorescent colours help you to be seen during the daytime and work especially well in fading light. So wearing or carrying something fluorescent if you are in a vulnerable road situation during the daytime can help you then, for example cycling home from work in the rain or walking along a country lane at twilight.
These bright colours are also useful for teachers taking pupils out in groups – but more for group monitoring than road safety, for example trips on public transport.
Top Ten Bright Picks
Here at Brightkidz we have a really wide selection of products to help keep you bright. Some are fluorescent AND reflective for day/dusk/night visibility, some just reflective or just fluorescent and some are lights. We know a yellow high vis jacket isn’t to everyone’s taste or needs so we’ve lots of alternative ideas for all ages along with ideas to make them really engaging.
Most items can also be custom printed with your logo or campaign message – which makes them dual purpose and a practical way of carrying your active travel messages.
Here are our Top Ten choices for both adults and children, including some newbies for 2021*.
Silver by day, bright by night. This is the daytime view, see the Reflective Drawstring Bag photo for an idea of how bright these both are at night. Handy way to carry your phone and keys when walking, running or cycling. Brand with your campaign message.
Silver bag which reflects at night. This is the night time view. Wow – isn’t it bright?! Another good way to get your campaign messages out in a practical, long lasting way.
Featuring your school’s winning design… or choose your own campaign logo to be featured. These are fluroescent for day AND reflective for night.
Choice of vibrant colours for these lights which clip to the heel of your trainer.
Low cost and easy to fit. White for the front, red for the back. Email us to request a quote.
For children and adults in a choice of colours. Makes it easy to identify volunteer helpers eg for School Streets and for pupils travelling in groups… as well as for cycling and walking in poor visibility.
Versatile and ideal for bikes and scooters. Another one that’s good for all ages – choose traditional yellow or crisp green.
Great mix of reflectors for when the schools are back – pupils can run their own reflector shop. Summer season ‘cycle’ version also available for secondary schools and workplaces.
So we hope this brightens up your lockdown. Being bright isn’t guaranteed to keep you safe – it’s ultimately down to drivers to take good care on the roads – but it can help.
Enjoy your walks and cycle rides.
Check out more items in our range to help inspire safe, active travel in our shop
Brightkidz and Brightwayz are trading names of Safe Kids Walking Ltd, a social enterprise promoting safe, active, sustainable everyday travel for all. 100% of profits from sales of our products and services are ploughed back to support these aims. Find out more at www.brightkidz.co.uk