A quick online search of high visibility clothing presents images of construction workers and safety officers. The colors are typically some form of neon orange, yellow, & red with some highly reflective stripes. Since those bulky safety vests and jackets are not the most aerodynamic for cycling and running, designers have figured out ways to incorporate the high visibility fabrics into our athletic fashion.
What is high visibility clothing? High visibility clothing is a type of personal protective equipment (PPE.) It is any clothing worn that has highly reflective properties or a color that is easily discernible from any background. The reflective part of the clothing is for night-time use, where there is obviously no UV light so the fluorescent material is ineffective.
During a recent family vacation, I discovered how high visibility reflective fabric can really mess up a family photo and ensure I was the most noticeable person in the photo.
High vis reflective material in a family photo…not so good, but it is visible.
The third photo is no jacket, with flash…and the camera still found the little bit of reflective material on my running shirt. Let’s just say my family was losing patience since it required so many photo takes to not have my reflective gear be the dominant part of the photo.
Does high visibility clothing make you safer? The goal is to be seen while doing any activity on the road. If a reflective fabric increases the likelihood that a driver sees you on your bicycle and takes appropriate precautions to share the road, then this is a good thing. Wearing high visibility clothing still requires the cyclist to be aware of surroundings and use good judgment when sharing the road with cars.
Be safe, be seen, and be fashionable in high visibility clothing on the road. Check out one of my favorite collections by Moxie Cycling – the High Vis 2.0.
Theresa is a Moxie Cycling Ambassador and blog contributor. Check out her bio here!