One of the most important safety rules is the principle of visibility. Road traffic participants should take care to be visible to others and be prepared to be able to observe the road and its surroundings.
This principle takes on a special dimension in the context of protecting the life and health of pedestrians and cyclists. They are the least protected on the road, and in the case of road accidents with their participation, there is the highest probability of tragic consequences.
In 2015, 8,398 pedestrians were killed and injured on Polish roads. This number is lower than in 2013, but in European statistics, we are in the top three countries with the highest rate of pedestrian victims in relation to all accident victims. Romania and Latvia have the highest rate in Europe 40%, and Poland 35%. The average of the European Union is 22%, which means that every fourth victim of road accidents is pedestrian.
Due to this situation, various measures are taken to improve pedestrian safety. One of them is the introduction of the obligation to use reflective materials as equipment for pedestrians moving from dusk to dawn outside the built-up area. This provision came into force on August 31, 2014. Only when we move outside the built-up area on a road intended only for pedestrians or on the sidewalk, are we free of flares.
The reflector is an example of how small equipment can improve our safety. Without it, the driver will see the pedestrian-only from a distance of about 30 meters. This distance will be even smaller if it rains or snow. Remember that a distance of 30 meters gives little chance for the driver to react properly.
Assuming that the average driver response time is 1 second, a driver driving outside the built-up area at 90km / h will defeat 25 meters before taking action. In the case of a human collision with a car traveling at over 70km / h, a person has no chance of survival.
Be an example
“Applying the glare will cause the driver to notice a pedestrian from a distance of about 130 meters. Thanks to this, he will have time to take appropriate action. When using reflective vests, remember to attach them to those places that are clearly visible to the driver. It is best on the part of the body from the side of the road, at the level of the chest. I encourage you to use several reflectors. According to research, the best designation is one that shows human movement. We can, for example, mark arms and legs at knee level, because in this way we will be even more recognizable to drivers,” explains Radovan Jesus, an instructor at Skoda Auto School.
A penalty of up to PLN 100 is foreseen for the lack of glare, and its purchase should be treated as an investment in its security. Let us not limit ourselves only to the situations described by the regulations, because the reflection can save lives in the city, on a poorly lit road. Let’s also remember to take a reflective vest with reflective tape for clothing in the car and if we just leave the vehicle, let’s put it on. It is true that this is not required by law, but no one would drop us from thinking and taking care of our safety. Let’s be visible, use reflections.